CalSol has been hard at work over our Winter Break touching up the designs on our shell, chassis, and suspension but in particular Sam Cohen and Parker Schuh on the Controls team have been working on creating a lightweight, carbon fiber steering wheel. To do this we first needed a 3D model of what we wanted the wheel to look like; this was designed by Parker and is shown below.
Once we had the model we needed to CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) out the molds for the wheel in a high density tooling foam. This is a complex process using a 3-axis milling machine in the Etcheverry Student Machine Shop on campus. The bottom photo shows the process of spiraling inwards removing the proper amount of material as the ball end mill progresses. You can see Sam here holding one of the two molds that we machined – corresponding to the top of the steering wheel.
The next steps are to prepare the molds for the carbon fiber layup and for layup itself, stay tuned for updates on this awesome project!
Great work gentlemen!