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Here’s a simple gravity-powered race game you can build from almost any sheet material. You could cut out the parts by hand but why not try a laser cutter? No excuses: Your local makerspace can help you out.

Project Steps

1. CUT!


Download the vector path pattern for the parts here. You can edit and position the parts to fit your material. (The layouts were drawn to make snug fits for the tab-and-slot construction for 3mm-thick material, but you can scale the entire drawing up or down slightly to make a different slot size to fit your material exactly.)



Assemble the tower as shown.

3. RACE!


Each racing disc has holes and slots that fit onto the vertical track of spaced tabs. Drop the disc onto the first tab: the disc stops, swivels around the tab, and when the slot swings back to vertical, the disc falls again onto the next tab, where the cycle repeats. Lots of random action! The first disc to make it to the bottom is the winner.

4. MOD!


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Make modifications to create a faster racing disc.

Try different slot widths: Wider slots may fall faster but at the risk of falling off the track.

Try different thicknesses and types of material: MDF, plywood, or acrylic.

Add some nonfunctional cutout holes: Will a lighter disc go faster? Or just get crafty and add some cool-looking etched designs with the laser cutter.

Cut lots of extra track parts and connectors, then join them to build a super tall racetrack tower!