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Thread: UTAS build 2015

  1. #1

    UTAS build 2015


    UTAS have made a lot of ambitious design changes and purchases this year. I feel the work I did last year to pull it all together has now led to second year overconfidence, some over stretching in designs, possible sacrifice in reliability etc. Where my emphasis is on using existing techniques, familiar parts, low cost, lowish weight, simplicity, improving everything by 10%, using less of my energy (this being the most important for me), finishing early etc... I feel our team leader is for high cost, new unknown techniques, higher weight (for stiffness), expensive parts $$, wings... (just cause), paddle shift, launch control (sounds cool) and anything carbon/shiny that the other teams are using without necessarily understanding what it is. So right there you can see the tension, added to that a FA that hasn't been able to verify or check our designs... and I had been on the edge of mental breakdown.

    We had spent all of first semester (February to June) thinking about our concepts, calculations, keeping a wiki, designing in CAD. Lots of new members, some team leaders not having done FSAE before. Since July we have been building.

    While our head team leader does an enormous amount of work, and I stomp on his designs to bring it back to reality, I can say we are meeting a balance and there are alot of positives right now.
    • Honda CBR600RR - I like this - I am the tuner - engine is running
    • rear track is narrower
    • driver pos slightly lower
    • Chassis is 4130 - added cost - but good I guess
    • Chassis maybe heavier, stiffer, and we have a CNC alloy plate - I have again been doing the final TIG welding on chassis and wishbones.
    • we have found more money and more free materials, much more organised with this
    • we will have new tyres this time!
    • fresh uprights again, also all new hubs and axles and wheel centers etc. (Staff are quicker on CNC)
    • using aluminium honeycomb floor bandaged with carbon, steering rack bolted to this (was nervous, did tests...)
    • the drivers and myself are all going to the gym with a trainer!
    • Tilton 77's
    • new rack
    • weight loss in some parts, other students give you heavier parts... what can you do?
    • 13" wheels
    • 3D print plenum
    • very very simple Motec M400 setup, no paddle shift or anything yet
    • undertray, wings...]

    So if it works, it will be awesome. If not heavy.
    Last edited by Jonny Rochester; 08-13-2015 at 07:54 AM.
    University of Tasmania (UTAS)

  2. #2

    These CAD screanshots are from many months ago. The engine was on a trolley we built in June and I got it running with Motec, laptop, wires etc... Yes, the engine trolley has neon's. A bit of fun.

    As an older student it has been very hard to find my place at times. I have not done much detailed CAD design this time, but I have done more calculations, given many ideas some of which are part of this car now.
    University of Tasmania (UTAS)

  3. #3
    Johny, do not make the mistake that all teams do once they feel confident, i.e. do not overcomplicate this!

    BTW the car on the CAD looks sexy, but complex and heavy...

  4. #4
    We are running into the same issues on my team this year. Some members want to go from an NA 450 single, 2 element front and rear wing, and manual shifter to a turbo 450 single, 3 element front and rear wing with undertray, paddle shifting and launch control, carbon fiber driveshafts, with a new differential and custom housing.
    2014-2015 Iowa State University FSAE Project Director
    2014-2015 Iowa State University SAE Vice President

  5. #5
    Usually design choices made 'just cause' don't go so well in design. That's the same with most teams I think, everyone wants to over engineer components and tends to forget the trade-off between saving an 1/8 of a lb. and finishing endurance.
    Rory Hourihan
    Chief Design Engineer - Mizzou Racing

  6. #6
    Usually design choices made 'just cause' don't go so well at comp either. From an aero opinion I am a fan of a highly developed undertray. If I remember correctly the undertray on MR14 (the last undertray i built) was 7-10 lbs. I dont remember the downforce it produced on its own but 60lbs wouldnt be hard to do plus the gains in -lift are much greater than the increase in drag. Ive seen undertrays in CFD with Lift/Drag ratios around 11/1. If your undertray system is well developed that lessens the need for a massive rear wing. Take it from someone who helped build Ann Arbor's "toaster car" as some of us called it in 2014. Manufacturing a big wing like that is almost not worth the effort for the amount of performance you get from it. Keep the aero package simple.


    U of Michigan Ann Arbor
    2013 MRacing Aero/Composites Team Member
    2014 Michigan Hybrid Racing Front Wing Development Lead
    2015 Michigan Hybrid Racing Aero Development Lead

  7. #7
    Ours hovered around that L/D of 11/1 last year and came in at 8lbs without mounts. Unfortunately, as you say, it takes a lot of time and effort to build aero. So it didn't make it on the car for competition as there wasn't enough time left to validate it :'[
    Rory Hourihan
    Chief Design Engineer - Mizzou Racing

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny Rochester View Post
    Where my emphasis is on using existing techniques, familiar parts, low cost, lowish weight, simplicity, improving everything by 10%, using less of my energy (this being the most important for me), finishing early etc...
    I feel our team leader is for high cost, new unknown techniques, higher weight (for stiffness), expensive parts $$, wings... (just cause), paddle shift, launch control (sounds cool) and anything carbon/shiny that the other teams are using without necessarily understanding what it is.

    You are right, and your Team Leader is wrong!

    Sadly, that is the all-too-common reward for the little bit of success you helped UTAS achieve last year.

    After last year's comp I wanted to suggest you stick with the "no-plenum" NA 450-single. The fact that the engine lacked a plenum meant that horsepower was restricted to <30 hp, which in turn meant that any pretence of building a mega-horsepower hyper-car would not get in your way. So you could spend plenty of time focussing on all the more important things.

    Things like tidying up a car with the same basic concept as Monash's (how many year's have they won FSAE-Oz now?), and also very similar to this year's globally all-conquering GFR. Things like shortening and simplifying the frame (and thus also improving R%!), polishing the steering-geometry, tightening up any toe-compliances, finessing the ergonomics, improving the brakes, +++...

    Your 2014 car was good enough to finish just below the half-way mark Overall. Very good effort for a first year Team. IIRC you missed SP and/or Acc, so finishing "the build" a bit earlier might have put you in top ten in 2014. A lot of effort put into improving the many small details of that SAME general concept could well put you into top five this year. Then, in 2016, you could cover it with Monash/GFR-style wings (though I would focus on undertrays, as mentioned above), and do lots of driver training, and UTAS would be looking at podiums.

    But I think UTAS should consider themselves a "first year Team" again this year. You are, essentially, starting from scratch... With a much more complicated concept...

    So, tell the other members to prepare for a lot of all-nighters, even right in the middle of competition. Perhaps, "Well, there I was, in Monash's workshop, 3 am Sunday, the night before the Enduro event...".

    And tell them you are getting too old for all those all-nighters, and they will have to do them... "Yep..., no sleep for two days, six hours to the first Enduro, in a workshop on the other side of Melbourne, and the engine was in a million pieces on the table..."

    Last edited by Z; 08-13-2015 at 10:47 PM. Reason: polishing...

  9. #9
    Thanks for your comments Z and others. I think we are all on the same page here, but a team has more than one person. Who ever thought engineering would be managing people?

    Our team has done some really good things. In January we wrote a document listing all the improvements to be had in both the 2014 car, and team structure changes, even to how we chair the team meetings and requirements of new members. And we have done most of those things, (except the build is a bit behind and it will be tight...)

    Some team stuff, which was new to us:
    • made new members do a basic application
    • I helped run a 10 question rules quiz for a few weeks
    • the core members went to Monash over Easter, "Design to Win". I drove the Monash 2014 car!
    • student leaders chair the meetings rather than FA
    • potential drivers now in a gym fitness program
    • we have a "old" car, so lots of promotional events
    • wiki webpage to show designs and concepts, not all members use it

    Some people thought my questions in the rules quiz where "trick" questions, and some cried when they didn't get 100%. The famous one I'm proud of, "during the tilt test at competition, what G-force does the driver experience when the vehicle is tilted to 60 degrees?" I think the answer is 1G (static situation, despite some discomfort), and all of our team including the suspension guy and the FA got it wrong. Some took it with humor, a girl wrote us a long email wondering why she got it wrong since it clearly says in the rules it's 1.65G, and our whole business team refused to even do the quiz. I laughed, but this and some other pressures meant lots of people effectively quit the team.

    But I wanted us to understand accelerations back in February (I don't fully), because our max G-forces dictate all the forces and stress in our designs. I've been using a tyre u of 1.6 for my 'back of envelope' calculations, and I was at first laughed at within our team for it.
    University of Tasmania (UTAS)

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    NSW, Australia
    Hard luck Jonny, I know how frustrating it can be trying to convince people who just want to 'engineer' every tiny piece!

    Why do you need a gym program? I ask because endurance is not much of an endurance and if you need a gym program you're probably doing it wrong. Our car had stupid heavy steering for a few years due to some bad design choices, to the point where people were suggesting power steering..... Thankfully they just fixed up the design issue instead.

    UoW FSAE '07-'09

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