Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nonstop Fabrication

We've been working around the clock (well, almost - a typical day starts at 10am and goes until 2am, including weekends) to get the fabrication done. We finally have the components we need and our CAD models are worked out, with the final assembly and mounting left. The pictures below may explain the lack of blog posts in the past few days.

The choice between spending more time in front of a computer vs. spending time in the shop with a TIG welder usually favors the latter: we can't wait to get this car on the road.

Mike, welding the coolant pump mount to the frame rail.

Matt, machining the 1/2 inch thick aluminum walls for the chain drive enclosure. The bearing plates for this cannot be allowed to flex at all, otherwise the chains (we're using 4 in parallel) will become unevenly loaded, leading to a cascading failure after the first chain snaps.

Arya, about to mount the wiring harness/interconnect box.

The motor / diff frame assembled and mounted in the car. A 1.7:1 ratio chain drive connects the two. This is our first iteration of this frame; currently we're working on the second one, that will be slimmer at the bottom and slightly offset to the left, to make room for the motor controller box.

A (very rough) mounting of the motor controller box. This will house the 640A, 400V controller electronics, and needs to be watertight. It's constructed from 1/4" polycarbonate, with a 3/8" sheet on the mounting surface of the controller. 1/2" thick polycarb is bulletproof.. It's waterjetted and dovetailed at the ends, which will be bonded and sealed with silicone.

Jigging up the motor/controller frame, version 2.0. This time we'll get it right . . . no warped joints, no flex, slimmer by 4.5" at the bottom, leaving more room in the engine bay for mounting other components and (future) battery modules.

The sponsor logos on the car, prepped for the open house (the shop was much cleaner for that event). We had the president, provost, supporting faculty and corporate sponsors stop by and attendance remained strong throughout the evening.

The custom 17-spline shaft for the motor is finally here. It was much cheaper to send the shaft out to be made via EDM (electrical discharge machining) rather than a conventional broaching method.

. . . more to come in the next few days

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