One of the first design priorities was creating a fundamental chassis as a foundation for the rest of our car. This decision would guide the rest of the design process. Therefore, we began with the basics. We started by reviewing past designs to generate several ideas for the basic car geometry. From this preliminary brainstorming, we reached two potential geometries: a more traditional four-wheel car configuration, or a three-wheel bicycle and outrigger configuration.
We then moved to a more technical analysis phase wherein we compared the benefits and limitations of both potential designs as they pertained to weight, turn radius, and stability (calculated as CG). In order to accomplish this, we created and used graphically enhanced custom spreadsheet calculator tools.
After analyzing the two designs, we decided that a 5ft by 10ft endoskeleton would offer the best balance of our design criteria. With this decided, we began a design for a mockup which would be constructed out of 3/4″ steel square tube that could serve as a base, and a physical model on which all subsequent subsystems could be laid out and prototyped.
Then, once we procured the requisite steel moved into the construction phase of the mockup. All sections were cut and tack welded together for ease of assembly/disassembly if required.