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- The Shoebox Regatta teaches physics with 3D-printed toys.
- Teach kids how sailboats work by making Catamaran sailboats from printed parts, soda straws and plastic wrappers.
- The boats can be raced with each in a plastic shoebox of water and powered by blowing on the sails through straws.
- Adjusting the sail (lateen rig like a sunfish), rudder and wind direction facilitates learning of how sailboats can sail in directions other than the way the wind is blowing.
- -Print the set of sailboat parts (designed to fit on the small Printerbot Simple bed)
- -Cut 4 equal straw pieces (3 long) for pontoons
- -Cut a 1 inch straw for centerboard support
- -Cut a 3 inch straw for mast
- -Cut triangle sail from cellophane and tape to printed spars
- -Assemble sailboat
- -Fill plastic box half full of water.
- -Float in water and adjust tiller and sail for broad reach.
- -Gently blow on sail through a straw.
- -Each boat in the regatta has a shoebox and the sailers provide their own wind at the starting signal.
- -Winner is the first boat to go the length of the box without touching the side.
- -Winner of the tournament (regatta) gets to keep the winning boat (which is replaced in the fleet by the one printing during the competition.)
- -3D printed parts: sail spars, forward frame, aft frame, centerboard, rudder and tiller.
- -4 colorful soda straws.
- -colorful cellophane food packaging
- -plastic shoebox and water
- Lessons include:
- -angle of incidence and resulting forces on the sail,
- -how to steer a sailboat to go other than the way the wind is blowing,
- -the iterative design process for improving performance,