The causeway challenge was one of the most important events in GoTime's history. For me, just having the conversation about product design, community connections and funding lit a spark under the effort that started to pull the product into the real world. It also helped that they were offering a cash prize too! The challenge got me moving, thinking and talking. In my mind, I had the best project, I just needed to show it off to the world. I worked hard on the Maker Racer and I saw it progress from a simple idea, into a physical product. Many ideas go that far. I felt like I was getting close, but in the end, I had no idea how far I still had to go. After a month of development and four product iterations, the causeway challenge came to a close. Unfortunately I was not one of the winners. That was a major let down. In my mind, the challenge was to be a testing ground, one the proved that my idea was viable and could find a home in the community. I did not get that validation, but I did receive another. The Causeway told me that the Maker Racer looked like a commercial product (an not a community cause) and it was a better fit at a business development center, like the CoLab. The Causeway pushed me in the direction of the CoLab, where they were so excited about my idea that they offered me an accelerator scholarship! My acceptance into the CoLab was a great form of validation, just not the one that I was expecting. So as my time at the Causeway came to a close, my time at the CoLab was just getting started.
The Maker Racer MK4 was the last maker racer that did not use plastic gears or a 3D plastic printed spring. It was simple and actually did a really goo job of racing (unlike the limited performance offered by the later versions.) In honor of this feisty little race car, I want to walk you through all of the steps of its creation.
Step 4: After printing out all of the parts, its time to put them all together! For instructions on how do do this, click here to check out our instructable for the Maker Racer MK4
The lanyard was a great addition to the maker racer MK3 from an engineering standpoint, but speed isn't everything. I tend to spend a lot of time working on the inner workings of a project (because of my engineering background) but the visual appearance is just as important. For many, the visual appearance is what makes the initial impact. For them, "What does it look like?" is a more than "How does it work?" It was this bit of insight that started to next Maker Racer iteration. This version took all of the mechanical aspects that ha been developed for the MK3 and put them in a more attractive form.
The hard edges were removed and the bulky braces were replaced with thin clips. We also got rid of the decals (which may have been a mistake.) The overall effect was a much sleeker looking car. The new version also gave the user easer access to the drive axle and a better way of clipping the lanyard to the car body. And there you have it, the Maker Racer MK4!