Monday, August 31, 2009

Rally Fighter Center Section Pattern Structure

Recently, we've received some images from the company milling the body patterns and molds for the fiberglass components. This particular image is of the Rally Fighter center section, which was generated from the surface data/drawing previously posted on the build site. The structure is constructed of wood, then fiberglass is laid over the structure to keep it from flexing/shifting. After that, the proprietary milling material will be applied, then the shape will be milled.

Pretty amazing to think that this structure at the size it is was made in just over one day.

More images to follow as we receive them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Got Backbone? (Part III)

Things are moving rather quickly with the chassis development, particularly in the tunnel area. One thing that helps this process and makes Colby's job faster, easier, and more accurate is having prints to work from that have the lengths, angles etc to cut the tubes as well as their location in the chassis all in one drawing.

As you can see, I've given him the required overall cut length, angles, and stock size. Also, he has the location, number of instances of the part, and the critical dimensions on locating the tubes in the chassis from the key reference points we've established.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Got Backbone? (Part II)

After evaluating the placement of the tape in the physical chassis, I made some changes to the locations, took down the measurements and updated the CAD data. Using the Weldments function in SolidWorks makes this very easy since the tubing profiles are already loaded into the SolidWorks Library, which means all I have to do is draw the path that the tube will follow and select what profile I want.

Therefore, once I was satisfied with the placement of the tape, all I had to do was drag the existing profile paths I had in the model to the determined redrawing cross sections and extruding, no changing cut angles, no inserting reference planes for the new tube location...all of this is generated by the software once I pick the profile path start and end point.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Got Backbone?

These images show the development of the tunnel or "backbone" of the chassis. The tubes have been designed in SolidWorks first taking into account all of the components they will have to package and have been placed with passenger seating in mind. The tape you see in the pictures is a quick way we check the placement of those tubes to get perspective on the "feel" factor which you don't get in the computer.

Therefore, I set a seat in the chassis using the H Point in the model as a reference to check the placement of the tubes/tape, how they affect seating, pedal placement etc., and will modify their locations accordingly. This is much faster than cutting sample tubes, tack welding them in place, re-cutting and moving as needed, then re-evaluating since I can put the tape down and pick it up and move it a number of times to get the right placement and then make the changes in the model before cutting the actual tubes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Farewell to the Voice of the Engineering Community!

If you've been following the Vehicle Engineering Blog over the last few months, you'll know that our intern, Alex has been at the controls of the Blog. Or, maybe you didn't notice since Alex picked up right where I left off doing an excellent job continuing to educate and share knowledge of both the LM Engineer's most technical of advances and the simplest of duties in developing the Rally Fighter with equal ease and effectiveness.

The same applies for many of the Rally Fighter Build Page posts, which Alex also shepherded through the sometimes turbulent trails of vehicle development. This is no easy feat for a first year engineering student, especially considering how quickly we move here at Local Motors. And if that wasn't enough, all of this was done under the scrutinizing eye of the online community. Furthermore, Alex was able to do so largely on his own and the blogs and build posts you've read were completely word-smithed by him with support coming mostly in the form of images to back up his points.

Alex's last day was Friday, and he's moving on to enjoying the last bit of the summer on the Cape, running some races, and hopefully relaxing before returning to Northeastern University. As an NU Alum myself, I recall what it was like on my first co-op job and if I would have been able to step into an environment such as this as seamlessly as Alex ("A-Rod" as I jokingly called him) did. It was both a pleasure and a great asset to have him here in this crucial period in the development of both the Rally Fighter and Local Motors as a company, and we wish him well.

Feel free to do the same by posting your comments here!