Duke University Motorsports is a student group that designs and builds open wheel, single seat race cars to compete in the Formula SAE competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The team consists of Duke students from both Pratt and Trinity, in all classes. The purpose of the team is to provide students with a way to gain practical design and manufacturing experience in a fun and challenging setting.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Machining and Drivetrain Redesign Braindump

Hi there; I am going to do my best to summarize what I have been working on over the summer and this fall; admittedly, I should have made earlier posts, so this is going to be somewhat of a long braindump:

Phase 1: Summer Planning and Drivetrain Redesign Version 1

Over the summer, I put in significant hours (a) learning Computer Aided Machining and (b) redesigning the drivetrain. I am leading both the Drivetrain and WHUBS teams this year, so I needed to put in some serious hours so that I could hit the ground running this fall.

The Drivetrain (and the accompanying rear portion of the frame/suspension) is the part of the car that is undergoing the most changes this year, mostly because it was the most problematic part of the car last year. The main issues that version 1 of my redesign sought to address were:
  1. Last year, we ran too sharp of an angle from the halfshafts to inner tripod housings, so there was significant friction and we actually had the halfshafts pop out of the tripod housings.
  2. Last year, we tried to go to a rigid mounting system (no more turnbuckle) for the bearing carriers, but this had unintended consequences when vibrations created a noticeable side-to-side wobble of the drivetrain when we started turning the chain.
  3. Last year, the bottom of the left and right bearing carriers were mounted at different locations (so they weren't coaxial, so adjustment (which involved the use of shims) would cause misalignment.
  4. There were also some little things within the design (I won't list them all) that I updated/improved to make our CAD model of the drivetrain better.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Update: Mid October

These past few weeks have been very crazy here at the garage. We've been doing a lot of machining, carbon fiber work, and also a good bit of experimenting with wheel speed sensors. However, the big highlight of the past couple of weeks has been our Alumni Driving event. We were fortunate enough to have a weekend that a lot of our alumni could be here to visit, and to make it a little more special for them, we decided to host a driving day for them early one Saturday morning. Overall, it was a fantastic morning, and we all seemed to have a great time. The list of alumni visitors includes Dan Lacher, Joe Goo, Jules Finlay, Will Gardner, Ivan Wang, and John Ingalls. And without further adieu...on to some pictures!

Ladies first...it always applies