I thought I’d fool around on the laser cutter and recreate some of my childhood memories. I grew up on a farm in Maine during the 60’s. My grandpa used to whittle folk toys for me when I was a kid. The twig racer cars were one of my favorites. What I like about twig racers is how fascinating the mechanism is. All you need is a thin curved branch from the yard, a piece of string, and 1/8″ thick plywood or draft board, and access to a laser cutter that uses SVG files, like a Glowforge.
The back wheels have tread for added grip. As you roll the car backwards, the string rolls up on the back axle pulling down on the branch. When released, the branch pulls the string driving the car forwards. It’s neat. If you live in an area with plenty of sticks and trees you can easily apply the concept and make your own!
Look for a hardwood branch on the ground under a maple tree or oak. It should be about 20 inches long, and curved, like a letter ‘C’. Carefully use a knife to whittle the thick end so that it fits into the stick holder on front of the Twig Racer.
Here is a video of me prototyping the first Twig Racer design. At first I had axles made from round candy apple sticks I found at the grocer and a couple 4-40 nuts and bolts. I wanted to design a working axle system made entirely from laser cut parts since it’s not always easy to find candy apple sticks. Glad to say my final design works great, no candy apples required.
I have other SVG for Glowforge Projects at: JEMTOY.com/tag/svg