Designing, engineering and, racing a winning RC car.
"Leadfinger" is a rubber band powered race car designed as part of an international competition to engineer and race a rubber band powered race car around a series of courses at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
The results? Team Leadfinger stole the show and won the competition overall taking Best In Show, the Eckles Design Award, Axial Racing Award, Honda R&D's Dare to Dream award and Drag Race Alley Champions.
The car is powered by 16' of "rubber band" material wound manually inside a carbon fiber tube. At full capacity, Leadfinger is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 45 miles per hour.
The only parameters placed on contestants are that the car may contain only two servos- one used for steering, and the other a clutch or brake.
Leadfinger was built of aluminum, titanium, FDM 3D printed plastics, carbon fiber and a litany of scavenged RC toy parts.
In addition to building a car, we designed a branding strategy for the team.
The classic James Bond film, Goldfinger served as inspiration.
"In a gentle way you can shake the world"
A core part of our team mission was to increase awareness of STEAM initiatives in the local community. We partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena and volunteered to teach a class in Design Process to local youth.
We designed a curriculum based on automotive design principles and led instruction in ideation, drawing and clay modeling.
We used our car as a point of entry for students to get excited about design. In the end, students walked away from class with their own orthographic drawings,modeled clay cars and digital 3D models generated from their work.
In the year after the competition, Team Leadfinger was asked to visit China to lead design discussions at several universities. My co-captain and I traveled to China and delivered talks on ideation, R&D and the iterative design process. We traveled thousands of miles from Beijing to Ji-Nan to Guangzhou and Shantou, and met with hundreds of students along the way.
Some presentations were large format lectures and others were intimate discussions with small groups. We rarely knew in advance how many people we would be visiting so we prepared multiple programs to engage any audience we encountered.