School might be out, but CalSol is still in session. While, our fellow classmates may be relaxing at the beach, the diligent members of CalSol have been working tirelessly on our next generation vehicle. Thanks to many, many hours spent designing and running FEA/CDF simulations using the SolidWorks CAD software, both the new chassis and shell designs have slimmed down, lost a lot of weight, and become optimized for peak performance. Through optimization of beam placement and beam sizes, the new chassis design has gone from weighing 70lbs at the end of summer down to 50lbs now. Although, it may not as light as competitor’s chassis, the new design will more importantly be one of the safest.
As the mechanical team prepares to shift from a design to a build phase, we are spending lots of time practicing construction techniques and planning build cycles. We hope that by doing this, when it finally comes time to start making the car in August, the team will be fully prepared and be able to have a quick, mistake free build. This prep work has included the construction of two PVC semi-mock-ups of the chassis, which gave the Chassis team a physical model to check their design on and the Welding team a chance to figure out out how they are going to cut and piece together the multi-member steel chassis. Work has also gone into making prep molds for the shell, as well as test layups for CalSol’s innovative new style of shell-chassis connections. With only 2 months left to go till school starts again, the mechanical team looks to re-double our efforts and push forward till the end of summer.