Go Kart From Malachi Parks Point of View (Period 1, Green team)

For this Project, Kelsey, Joey, Alex, Aly and I are assigned to make a Go-kart that is drill powered. We were supplied only one piece of plywood to make our whole Go-kart design fit onto.

Inspirational Designs

The these two designs are the same essentially just from different perspectives. This Go-Kart had inspired us to make a steering system with a lever rather than a wheel for design ease.

The seat in this photo is the basic idea that we all agreed on to make. The sides would snap into the base as the seat piece would snap onto that.

Who is the Team?

This is the team! Moving from the left to the right is as follows: Kelsey, Alex, Joey, Me and finally Aly. (Her photo is like this because she didn't want to be in the group photo, so this is a photo taken by Shaer of her).

Crucial Decision for the Team

This is Shear's racing stats from when he races Go-Karts in his free time. Among being the lightest of all of us too, we designate him to be the driver of the Go-Kart, therefore this Go-Kart is designed around him.

Design Phase


Our Body was inspired off of the photos we had seen online plus the model Go-Kart that Estock had shown his classes. Originally we decided to do a chain driven wheel system on the back with two wheels. Later on though for simplicity the team decided one wheel would be an easier design to manage. The location of the front wheels is housed withing the cut piece of plywood which is 48in. by 12in.

Seat Triangles (Snap-Together)

For the snap together requirements, the seat had been designed with support structures which will snap into the base. Illustrated above is the dimensions of the seat completed with maximum size that we can have with the seat without shooting over the length of our body design.


Naturally without a seat back the design of the snap together triangles is pointless. Designed by Shaer, the seat back was made so he can sit at a slight angle while driving to obtain complete comfort.


Changing designs for our throttle, we decided that it would be easier for us to make a indirect drive instead of the chain. The drill would be housed in something that would be able to move down, held in place by the tension of the spring when the pedal is hit, and would move out of the way when the pedal does not have pressure applied to it.


Braking was meant to run under the car, (shown in Onshape later on) when the brake is hit, a piece of wood would slide back and apply friction to the back driving wheel to slow down the Go-Kart. Up above the blue tape marks out where the system will be.


Rather than column driving, a lever, when moved forward would turn the front wheels to the left/right due to its position and do the reverse when pulled backwards.

OnShape Information

Onshape is a online free CAD software that can be used to accurately model parts. From here, you can export the items you make in Onshape as an STL, Parasolid, etc.

For this project it was required for each member of the team to create an individual piece of the Go-Kart. Once each person was done, it had to be assembled in a assembly.

OnShape Designs

Illustrated above are the models that all of us had created in Onshape. Joey made the steering lever and housing for the front whee (top left 2)l, Aly made the base (top right), Shaer made the seat back (bottom left), Kelsey made the triangle (biggest picture of them all) and I made the braking system (middle left of the triangle).


Above is the finished product of what the Assembly looks like in Onshape. The seat and triangles are fixed while the front wheel housing turns on a 39 degree angle at most. Overall it took the whole team a class period to create this fine model.

VCarve Information

VCarve is used to Shopbot through pieces of thick wood such as ply wood. Think of it as the laser, but instead it uses a rotary bit to cut through the wood when given certain tasks.

The video above is a brief introduction to Vcarve and its capabilities once mastered.

VCarve Files

Instead of taking snapshots after snapshots of VCarve step by step Shear and I decided to snapshot the final product of the tool-path. The inside pieces were done in the first order then all of the outside pieces were done right after. Of course, we had added Dog-bone fillets on the mortises and tenons so the snapping together would be seamless.

3D representation of how the tool-path will look once it is shop-botted

The button above is how we got from step A-Z, following the steps from downloading our PDF from Onshape to scaling each piece up and joining their vectors.

More or less this is what the Onshape PDF looked like that we used for VCarve

Shopbot Set-Up

Prior to being able to Shopbot our pieces, the team had to secure the piece of plywood to with screws. While this was happening I had opened the Vcarve file to print the file once everything was in place.

Shopbotting in Progress

As seen above, the Shopbot was mid way through cutting out our pieces such as our seat supports and our main body.

Assembly of the Seat

Above are multiple shots of the seat being assembled after we had taken our piece off of the Shopbot. Yet, this is only half of the seat made as you can see the other side of the rest is not fixed yet.


Shaer holding one of the pieces that we had remaining after scraping down our piece of plywood to pieces of wood that we could use.
Here is what remains of our Plywood once we had chopped it down to fit in the garbage cans in the shop.

Assembly of Body + Wheels

Inital Support

To ensure the body remains stable under the weight of Alex, we ran a piece of plywood underneath the car to reinforce it. The goal was so the piece of our plywood would not bow under the weight of our driver.

Back Wheel

Prior to having the wheel fully mounted, Aly had the wheel propping up the body so we could screw in the supports attached to the back wheels that hold up the back wheel.
To ensure the mounting is correct, we fed the rod through the supports to confirm it is a snug fit so the axle (threadded rod) would not bounce around as we drive the go-kart.
The series of photos above are each different views of the wheel when it is attached to the body. It can be noted that the rod has blue masking tape on it because the nuts used to secure the wheel in its general area, will not be able to travel down the threaded rod with tape covering the thread.

Front Wheels

To the right is our 72" inch rod used for our axle. We had just gotten this Thursday because of the snow storm on Tuesday, canceled school. On the table are the springs we are using for the pedals so they return to the correct position.
These little wooden blocks are going to be used to support the rod on the front wheels. They will be attached to the bottom part of the kart, then the rod will be fed through them it all stable.
The piece above is our main attaching point for the front wheels. The blocks of wood that Shaer and I attached are to ensure that the axle remains in place as the wheels turn.
Unsure of where our long rod went, even though i'm positive we put it away correctly, is gone. Thus we had switched to half an inch thick dowel rods because they don't get stuck as easy and rotate smoothly through the holes for our support.

After Numerous days of searching, Mr. Estock decided to take pity on us and buy a new rod. Yet, while we still have not been able to fully attach the wheels until April 4th, we have made leaps and bounds in other areas.

Finallty having the correct rod cut down we started to attach the front wheels to the frame. To keep them secure, under the nut we have blue painters tape so the nut cannot come off while we are driving.

Attaching the Front Wheels

Now the main issue at hand was connecting the body's frame to the kart. Above is a piece of wood Alex, Aly and Joey had attached so a metal rod piece could be feed through the hole and sandwich the pieces together.
On the floor, Aly is attaching the connecting nut to keep the front wheels attached to the kart.
This is the result of what the kart looks like now that it's front wheels are connected stably to the whole frame. At this point we had Shaer sit on the Kart to check out if the body will bend when weight its applied to it.

Adding Additional Supports Under the b\Body

A result of Shaer sitting on the plywood was that there was not enough support under the piece of wood. Thus, the wood began to split so we had to attach additional supports.
Removing the front wheels, the kart was placed on the table sideways to help provide a stable working area. A new support piece of ply wood was run across the top and bottom of the existing one while a verticle piece was added by the slot for braking.
After the rough lay out was completed, Shaer began to drill everything into place for supports.
Yet again, the fun part of re-attaching the front wheels to the chassis of the Go-Kart done by Aly.

Creating Training Wheel Mounts V.1

Now that the car was not going to break apart at the seems, the team decided training wheels were a clever maneuver to keep the unbalanced kart from falling over.

Creating and Mounting the Training Wheels V.2

After the major crash that Shaer had experienced while testing out kart before the hard test date, new supports had to be made for the training wheels. These supports were squarer while being made from a thicker piece of wood to them in.

Assembly of the Drive System

Before we have made our Drill housing, I had set up the gear settings for the drive train. Above are all the settings so I would not forget them if I had to remake the gears.
After numerous errors, I had gotten the file to render correctly in Vcarve. I found if the gear had more than 36 teeth, it would do a lap around the outside of the gear twice, thus reducing the piece to a circle at best.

Because the drive train idea with gears was a pain to make and to hard to incorporate with the size of cart we have, the team decided with the way the wheel was mounted it was easier to do a direct drive over the original idea.

In this housing the lawn mower wheel holds a precise item that we will use to drive our kart. It will be attached to the remaining short amount of rod that we have with a nut at each end to secure it tightly.
Stripping this gear from the Lawn Mower I had brought in. This is what the gear looks like after we had taken it off of the lawn mower.

We cut down the remaining amount of rod and attached the gear from the lawnmower to directly drive the system. We cut through the nut on the rod to make the fixture permanent.

After the attachment tests sadly we had to fix the position of the wheel and the amount of rod on each side of the wheel. We do this by attaching the drill to the rod and either driving it forward or in reverse until the correct position is required.
Creating a slot in the wood was made by Alex. Here we are going to place our drill in the slot and figure out a way to disengage and engage it for drive .
Once the slot was cut, this is what the final driving system will look like more or less.

Assembly of Steering

Thrown together last minute by me, the idea is to create a steering column that Mr. Estock had on his cart, but with a 3D printed pulley piece instead of notching the woodl
Just to test the concept, I grabbed a pulley out of the Shop to ensure quality with some string to see if my idea was ludicrous to begin with.
Going further in depth, this is a rough idea of what the column will look like just to present the group the idea as a visual.
Before I began to work on this new idea, I created a list of pro's and con's of each system the team had planned to create. In the end we ended up deciding on the Steering Column.

We had tested the pulley to see when it is attached to the rod if it would actually have a firm grip on the string and actually move it or if it would just skip off of the smooth surface. We had found that if we multi-wrap the string around itself, it has the best ability and tension to turn the wheels. Aly and I had to wrap it about six times to to get an accurate amount of tension to turn the wheel.

We had tested it with weak string the first time, we used para-cord the second time. The change of the string to para-cord made a significant difference where we only had to wrap upon itself three times to get an accurate amount of pull on the wheels.

In the rough diagram above, this was the rod that Nolan had made and given to our group free of charge.
Not the best picture in the world, but this is my half-way completion of the pulley more or less in Onshape.
Finally completed, this is the actuall size of the pulley that will be attached to the rod.
Just for the OnShape assembly, I had made a rough steering wheel design (which now that I look at it seems to be quite sad) to attach to the column for steering.
After all my parts were completed, this is what the rough idea looks like where the pulley is a snug fit on the rod. Then I would feed it through the bottom of the kart and use string attached to the supports on the front wheel to turn it.
At open lab I had printed my pulley's design on a low resolution to speed up the procress.
There was a moment of relief when I had attached the pulley to the rod. Surprisingly, the fit was snug the first time producing a firm connection between the two.
Prior to the night of my AP Lang exam, I made these directions for Shaer, Joey and Aly because Kelsey and I would not be there that day due to testing. These direcions overlay what I wanted to do for steering before we had hit the major time crunch. It also describes how we will attach the steering column to the Go-kart.
Like the picture above it is the same idea. Yet, the PVC was meant to act as a guide when we placed it through the body. The two "end cap" pieces ensured the piece would not shake around when turning the steering wheel.

While we never ended up using the design we had planned for steering, Shaer had created a masterpiece of a steering wheel that would give his hands room to maneuver with the extra comfort for grip.

Skrrt-Skrrt! Here comes Shaer with the finished steering wheel, which he had shop-botted.
With half of the team being gone the second to last day before testing, we had decided as a lame last ditch effort to turn to a reign pulled steering system. Above Shaer is sanding down one side of the front supports because if he didn't the kart would not be able to turn left at all.
Vola! The finished product of steering, although we had everything else planned out we simply ran out of time to attach the steering column.

Assembly of Acceleration

This image above illustrates where we will have our wheel attachment will go. The white piece, while not attached yet is a piece of guide wood to ensure the string for our acceleration does not get in the way of the driver.
Working on the slot for the drill before, Aly had attached a spring to keep the drill in place so when the car would go over bumps, the drill simply would not fall out of its place.

Focusing on the blue foam core that the group had used, it keeps the drill roughly in place so when Shaer is driving that it will not shake out of place, hitting the support instead of driving the main wheel.

The metal pieces that are bent are used to ensure the paracord stays in the general location, so it would not fall out nor come loose as Shaer drove around .
In the left of the picture the guiding piece for acceleration was put in upside down so Shaer would not kick the paracord loose in some fashion.

Assembly of Braking

Working of off the really rough idea's that I had created for the Onshape awhile back, Kelsey created this new design drawing of how the braking system would look. When we push back on the pedal, the back piece of wood will apply friction to the back of the wheel thus halting the car.
The back piece of wood mentioned above was wood glued to ensure the tightest bond so it will not break as easily when force is applied to it.
While the wood glue was drying, the two pieces of wood that will hand had holes drilled into them precisely with a 3/8th's drill bit, the same size of the dowel rod.
The next class after the initial wood gluing period, the back piece comes out look like the picture above.
Now that all the pieces were created, Kelsey and myself laid out the pieces to see if all the parts fit together... which they did!
While the system is not fully attached to itself, this is what it will look like in the end as seen in the top two pictures above. Now, the bottom one shows how it will sit under the cart. Plus if the design was too long we can shorten it instead of being stuck completely.
The pedal seen two slides above is attached to the body of the kart. The hinge is attached to the kart and pedal to ensure maneuverability. The dowel rod protruding from the bottom piece will connect to the longer piece of wood once everything is hanging securely.
After I had attached the brake pedal to the kart, it was time to actually install the braking system. Moving from left to right in the photo grid, it is displayed that we had flipped the kart up, resting on its seat, to install the system. We had added tape to the end of the dowel rods to ensure they didn't slide through the connecting holes.

Creating of Arduino

The two photos above illustrate the beginnings of the teams Arduino circuit which I believe will consist of a status light for our go-kart, turn signals and a piezo buzzer for a horn. On the left side Kelsey and Aly are putting together the first few scraps of wires and LED's for the circuit. Cut by the perpendicular white line, the right side picture represents a basic uploading of code to test the system.
Both of the pictures above are representatives of the finished arduino circuit with all of the bells and whistles i.e the check system light, turn signals and pizeo buzzer.
This is the code for the check system light. When the button is pushed down, the light while turn on over the license plate and when there is no pressure on the button the light will be off.
This is the remaining piece of the code that was missing from the bottom of the screenshot.
Following above is the code for the piezo buzzer containing the various notes from a quarter note to an eighth note. Each note will play for about a second or so then a small rest in between.
These are the various notes and their corresponding numbers to place into the code for use.

The video may not have sound for some strange reason. Regardless, in the video above, it was a high pitched series of notes that would provoke anyone to move out of the way over enduring the pain of the sounds produced.

Misc. Bells and Whistles for Go-Kart

License Plate

This is the one license plate that the group had decided on and that was school appropriate.
This is the PDF version of the AI file that we had used on the laser.

This is the license plate being made in the laser from the Adobe Illustrator file that Aly had made in about 30 min at most

On the left side is the finished product which I love. Yet, we created another L in the process, guess we are addicted to making them. We had made another L when we were cut down our plywood into smaller sheets.
Just to make an ironic statement, this is what the finalized license plate looks like attached to the kart.

Clearing Out the Locker

Prior to this photograph, the locker was overflowing with various pieces of hardware we simply did not need. I had cleared out the locker to the point where the bare necessities remained in it.

To Do List (4th Marking Period-Interim)

Now shortened to a slightly lengthy list with the pedal attached for braking and numerous strength tests completed. These tiny tasks are all we have to complete by race day.

*UPDATE*: The list above was mostly completed by race day! Pretty much the only thing we were not able to create was a miniature flag for our go kart.

Testing Prior Race Day

While on the Day of actual testing the car did not go quite as planned. This test provides context that if our kart had the full power of the system how fast it tended to go.

Before the fatal crash (which none of us had captured on video sadly) this is a test of how well the steering had worked manned by the teams 'professional driver'' Shaer.

Testing (Day 1 of 2)

Head sock in all and Shaer is ready to tear up the Tennis courts!
This main is waiting for his shot at glory, or trying to find comfort I can't quite tell what he is doing here.

Above are the series of Ghost Riding videos done for our kart. Initially, we started out using Kelsey's Calculus textbook since it was the only weight we had for applying pressure to the gas pedal. In the end we had moved to a crate Estock had because it could produce a greater weight than the textbook.

I was surprised how well out steering had handled during this course. While at some points Joey had to turn slowly, the team never missed a gate at all! Sadly, I had goofed up and one of the videos had ended early. In the end the average time for this course was about 34 seconds give or take.

Once the tests were over I decided to push Shaer back this time not Joey. This is the 2 second of a 5 minute journey of me pushing Shaer as he steers the kart.

Testing (Day 2 of 2)

Aly took over Shaer's position this day since he wore slides.

While I was not here that day, nor was Kelsey apparently the braking test was a hit and miss test. The team had said while the kart was easy to push, the braking system was said to be a huge flop. The videos above illustrate this from two different angles of the video taker.


Our only source of Data from the Day 1 of testing. As for Day 2's testing, Kelsey nor I were not there to record the information so it was not put down that day.

Final Thoughts

Overall I will love to say I loved the project! If we ended up managing our time better and actually creating a design that durable but effective, we would of had this in the bag! I will say though, one of the hardest thing for this project was actually modeling the design around a kart that we could create with the materials in the shop. As I salute my team for putting up with me, and I felt we had worked strongly together on this project.

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