Out With the Old and In With the New: Getting a Jump Start on the New Year

Featured, Structures / Monday, January 7th, 2019

Over the week-long break, we made several leaps in progress on our way to a working solar car. Since we have not competed in this competition before, it is paramount that we iterate our design as much as possible in order to artificially boost our team’s experience. Over the course of the winter break, several members of our team got together and scrapped our old chassis and started building the next iteration.

Taking apart our old chassis

Several design changes have been made, some more radical than others. One of the largest is centering the front bumper of the chassis in order to allow for better person-packing efficiency. Along with this, several other optimizations have been made. The new design now budgets space and structural supports for components such as the battery and solar panels which each contribute a large amount of centralized weight to our design. It is of the upmost importance that we take all considerations into account when placing these parts due to concerns over stability with a three-wheeled car.

In addition to design changes, we have begun to use higher tech methods to fabricate our car. The last chassis was made plumb through the use of right angle magnets and rulers held in place on either side by magnets. This time we have opted for a jig created by mounting pine blocks onto a plywood sheet around the inner outline of each plane. The attached image shows only the front section of the bottom plane of the chassis, more sophisticated jigs will be used when fabricating the structure that connects the chassis to the steering systems.

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