We really wish this Roller Coaster was life-sized!

‘My model is called the SPACESHOT Roller Coaster,’ Austin said. ‘The roller coaster is a space theme, inspired by the LEGO Classic space series from the 1980’s. It is built using nearly two thousand LEGO Elements and it has taken over 70 hours to build.

The design of my roller coaster is completely unique, and is not based on any current model or roller coaster. I started the design by sketching ideas on a page about what I wanted it to look like. I had an image in my head about how it was going to look and how the track would be laid out. This was the starting point of the construction. Once I had finished drawing, I started to think about how I was going to build it. I used a range of LEGO Technic Beams for the straight sections of the track and LEGO pneumatic pipe for the corners, loop and hills. These came all the way from Germany. This allowed me to create the smooth corners for the cart to ride on. LEGO Technic connector pins were used to bind all of the parts together.

The roller coaster contains 4 motors, 5 sensors and LED lights which are powered by 2 LEGO NXT Intelligent bricks. The sensors tell the program in the brick where the cart is and what motors need to start/stop so that the ride runs smoothly. The motors are used for powering the chain lift on the first incline and the conveyer belts throughout the station. The model is also modular, so you can take it apart into four sections so you can move it around easily and prevent it from getting damaged.

This model also formed part of my research project. I calculated the physics of this model to make sure that it was going to work. I also investigated the engineering side of roller coasters to make sure that the model was not going to move as the cart came around the track. Since the track is a completely unique design, the wheels for the cart were custom designed and 3D printed. The cart is designed to look like a space ship. There are 5 carts in total, each representing a classic space colour (White, Black, Red, Blue and Yellow). Each cart can take up to two LEGO mini-figures. I sketched some pictures of retro-looking space ships and then picked my favourite design. I then broke the design into sections and converted the shapes into LEGO Elements.’

Just another day at the ASMS…