This report highlights the key aspects of the Car Building Project in detail during Teaching Period 1 at Aston University. The project adheres to CDIO principles (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate) to focus on developing the core skills engineers will need in the industry. Groups were thoroughly pressed to make sure they understood the problem at hand, such as what the constrains are (time scale, budget, material limit) and how to convert a design into a physical prototype accurately so that they can ultimately test our build.
The objective of the project was to design and manufacture a functioning electric car within twelve weeks. There were many documents that had to be completed for the car to be signed off by a corresponding technical director before even starting the manufacturing stage. The conditions that stood were split into design reviews and there were four in total that had to be completed to finish the project. In order to start manufacturing, two design reviews had to be passed.
The two main problems groups faced were split between ergonomics and manufacturing. The main problems spurred from the manufacturing components rather than the ergonomics. Ergonomic difficulties included elements such as encompassing a design that caters for every member of the group. This is because on the day of racing, groups were informed they would be unaware of who will be driving the car, so it was vital that all members can reach the steering wheel and fit in the car’s chassis comfortably.
Through early further reading it was made clear that the first step to designing any vehicle frame is to understand the different loads acting on the chassis. The three modes of car chassis failure that groups will experience will result from the following loads during the projects 1:
Longitudinal Torsion Vertical Bending Horizontal Lozenging
Each mode of failure in respect to the projects were unlikely to be catastrophic on race day providing each design review was successfully completed. This is because at each design review the progress, ideas and designs of each group were heavily scrutinised. As a result of this any questions posed by the reviewer had to be answered convincingly and in-depth in order to progress to the next design review.
To represent the car’s chassis, groups were told to portray it onto paper instead of computer aided design software (CAD) as it would develop one’s engineering drawing skillset. Drawn chassis were decomposed into members connecting to nodes which represent each connection in the frame. To analyse the car, groups had to consider how to represent to loading forces such as the driver’s weight and the motor. For the driver, the first step was to consider
Groups were given a stock rear chassis which contained an electric motor and two rear tires. Groups were also given a stock steering column to attach to the front of the car.
Groups were given stock components such as Gr E220 ERW Steel Box Tube, GEQ M/S Fish Plate, Spruce Wood, M8 x1.25 Bolt Gr 8.8.
The chassis design had to support all the weight that may be added to it with ease.
1 Design, Analysis and Testing of a Formula SAE Car Chassis
– William B. Riley1 and Albert R. George Cornell University