The Long Winter is Over

We are back! Our designs now frozen, we are moving full force into manufacturing. The structure of our frame is complete, and we are welding on the attachment tabs as various components are completed. The nosecone mold is being prepared each weekend, and many of our ergonomics assemblies are coming together. The big suspension, wheel assembly, and powertrain components are coming together as our CNC operations carve away aluminum billet. And the first batch of pcbs is being assembled. After months of CAD and design work, the whole team is excited to bring their designs to life, and we are eagerly awaiting powder run later this Spring.

taking a quick break with the newest seat in the garage

3/18/2017 Update
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Manufacturing Lead, Patrick McCabe, with the two uprights he machined on the TM-1 behind him. Check out our Facebook page for more pictures.

With our car’s unveiling just over a month away, we are working harder than ever on manufacturing.

To keep up the pace, a few more team members have started learning how to run our shop’s CNC machines. So far, they’ve machined parts for our spool and the pedal assembly. Up next for CNC manufacturing are our spool mounts, motor mounts, two more uprights, and the spool itself.

Our pedal assembly is nearly complete, and now that we have our seat we can begin final placement of the steering wheel within the cockpit. We will cover the front of the chassis with a nosecone, which we will make out of fiberglass. Peterbilt Trucks will be machining a mold for our nosecone in one of their large 5-axis mills.

Our suspension is nearly complete as well. We recently received shipment of our wheels and spherical bearings. We are still waiting on a massive order of braking parts including calipers, brake fluid, brake lines, and brake pads.

Purchasing and shipping logistics of our motor and motor controller are being arranged so that they arrive in time for unveiling. We are also in the process of sourcing coolant lines and connectors to cool these components and interface with our pump.

Our electronics team has made huge progress on the battery. The test segment, containing 17 out of the 85 total Li-Ion cells we have, has been built and tested with a dummy load of water heaters. Early results are promising. Additionally, the people working on the battery were all recently CPR/AED certified as a precaution against electrical shock. Development of our car’s real-time operating system is also in full swing.

Keep an eye out for an announcement about our unveiling!

Hitting the Ground Running

 

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Pictured is the setup and testing of our control systems.

The start of the Spring 2017 Semester means that the FSAE Electric competition in Lincoln, Nebraska is only six months away. Considering that one of those months will be in summer and that we plan for 2 months of testing, we are working harder than ever to finish our vehicle.

We’re working on procuring all the parts we need for ergonomics and suspension including brake calipers, brake master cylinders, shocks, a harness, a seat, and bearings. We are also beginning to purchase our big ticket powertrain items: the motor and the inverter, both of which will come from overseas. We will likely be switching from the Tritium Wavesculpter 200 to the Unitek Bamocar D3 inverter for cost and compatibility reasons.

Our electronics team has been working hard on debugging and getting our PCBs running. Another group within electronics is preparing to build the test segment of our Li-Ion battery pack. On the manufacturing side of things, we are working on plastic parts for the battery, along with big CNC items like the uprights and wheel hubs.

Recently, a few of our team leads attended the UT Spring Engineering Career Expo to volunteer and network with recruiters to raise money for our team. Another business item we are beginning to look into is our annual unveiling, where we showcase our newly completed cars to friends, family, and corporate supporters. Finally, we are working on gathering footage for some cool promo videos so stay tuned!

 

Rounding up the Semester!

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Pictured is team captain Jeremiah Coholich, setting up the CNC to mill one of our battery end plates.

As the semester comes to an end, we are gearing down work, and this will probably be the last update of the year. However, there is a lot of exciting stuff going on! On the frame, we are working towards finishing the welding, while staying rule compliant. To this end, we have added another bar to the back, so that we have a jacking point as specified in the rule book. While we are still working on a pedal assembly, most of our other dynamics design work is done. This includes the wheel assembly, steering, and other suspension components. Now, we are beginning to jig for the a-arms, bell cranks, and shocks.

In the garage, we will be getting anybody that works on the battery CPR and AED certified, and work on the battery will commence as soon as that is taken care of and we get our safety equipment. As far as manufacturing goes, we are going to be using all the extra time we have around finals to get a lot of work done. So far we have finished bearing holders and a-arm tube mitering. Up next on our plate, we will be CNC machining bearing collars, uprights, and battery end plates.

That’s all for now, but good luck on finals and Happy Holidays!

Frame, Frame, Frame!

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Lets dive right in!

This past week, there has been huge progress. Thanks to Manufacturing Lead Patrick McCabe, Katie Leonard, and a lot of hours on late nights, we now have a fully tacked frame! (Pictured above are Patrick, Katie, and Gijs) In other car subsystems, we have placed orders for the A-arm stock, A-arm bearings, and hyme joints, which are all very important parts of the suspension. Additionally, the electronics team put in a lot of work to finish the FMEA, an important safety report that needs to be turned in to SAE, and of course is still working hard on designing PCBs. Speaking of electronics, we have found a spot in the CPE to test and build the battery! This was an important task, because the battery can not be built in the garage around a bunch of metal specks and shavings.

As far as manufacturing goes, we have also made a lot of progress. The tubes for the rear uprights have been milled, we have made all the cone spacers necessary for the car, and we are quickly working towards finishing the spherical bearing holders for the A-arms. Next up on the list will be manufacturing the wheel hubs and uprights, both major components of the wheel assemblies, which will each be lathe and CAM intensive. Also, when the A-arm stock comes in, we can get straight to welding and building those, as we already have the A-arm jig set up and are on track to have the bearing holders done.

Till next time! Hook ’em!

Weekend Roundup!

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Last weekend gave the electric team a good chance to work, here is a brief update:

  • We are working on getting together a full bill of materials for the car, which will smooth out our design to manufacturing transitions
  • We CNC’ed a test piece on the tormach mill, which proved to have better a tolerance than we expected
  • We have almost all of our tubes mitered, which means we will be ready to weld the frame soon!
  • We have made almost all of the cone spacers necessary for the car (thank goodness!)
  • The battery cell tester and the toaster oven conversion kit we ordered have both come in, which means we are ready to begin testing all 83 of our battery cells, and that we are ready to make PCBs.
  • SKF provided us with a bunch of free bearings! Big thanks to SKF  for that!
  • We are almost done jigging our frame!
  • Stock aluminum and steel have arrived for the bell cranks, wheel hubs, and uprights

Additionally, two of our team members had the chance to go to Texas Motor Speedway for a Ford VIP experience, where they got to tour the pits, see the cars and trailer, and talk to some of their engineers! Big thank you to Ford for what was undoubtedly an awesome time! Until next time, hook ’em!

Back to School!

img_20160910_130436Back to school means back to work! The first couple months of the year have been extremely busy, so here is a quick update on what we have been up to!

  • We are officially registered for FSAE Lincoln 2017!
  • Frame tubes have been ordered and cut, big thanks to Athena Manufacturing for helping us out with those!
  • Our front and rear roll hoops have been built! (Pictured above with our roll hoops left to right: Manufacturing Lead Patrick McCabe, Team Captain Jeremiah Coholich, and Electronics Lead James Yoder)
  • We have received all of our battery cells
  • In the machine shop, we are making jigs for welding the frame, cone spacers, and pickup points for the suspension
  • We are in the process of ordering stock metal for the electronics, dynamics, and power train sub-teams
  • We have brought on about 30 new recruits to the team, giving us a huge boost on the electronics sub-team and in the machine shop!

Other than the above, we have continually been iterating on designs, and are very close to being done with our full CAD. Be sure to check our latest facebook posts for more pictures from our workdays, and information about upcoming events!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more.

Your friendly neighborhood racing team,

Longhorn Racing Electric

Increasing the Intensity

IMG_20160409_161916Around this time next week we will be meeting with Ford to talk about our team and our designs, so we have ramped up the intensity of our design process. Here’s a little taste of what we’ve done the past couple of weeks:

Body: The chassis is constantly being tweaked to find the optimum design. As of late, the battery has been moved closer to the front of the car and closer to the ground. The bottom of the chassis has been widened out to allow for easier removal of the battery. As always, the body is being tested with Finite Element Analysis to be sure it can hold up to the massive forces created when racing the car.

Business: We have recently received support from Toyota Connect and ProEnergy! As always, the business team is continuing to contact companies and reach out to personal contacts. Also, a UT fundraising event, 40for40, is coming up soon. Check it out here.

Dynamics: The steering system has been simplified so that there are no more u-joints. The uprights have been modeled and remodeled three times. The wheel hubs, bell crank, and tie rods have all been designed as well. Wheels have been selected, a-arms are in progress, and Finite Element Analysis is being performed on the parts mentioned above. Lastly, the dynamics team is working on integrating all the parts into a full assembly of the suspension.

Powertrain: Tires have been picked out, and more work and calculations are being put into deciding on reduction ratios. The pillow blocks have been modeled, bearings have been picked, and parts have been sourced for the drive train. Lastly, The sub-team has started the CAD assembly of the powertrain on the chassis.

In general team news, we are dedicating all of our Saturdays to doing work on designs, and we had our first team social!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more.

Your friendly neighborhood racing team,

Longhorn Racing Electric

 

Vroom Vroom

bat render 3Hello Hello! Its been a while, but here comes another update!

Body – The body sub-team is still configuring the chassis so that they can mount the battery. This involves making adjustments to the structure of the frame and CADing mounting points. In addition, the design of the aerodynamic nose cone is underway. Fun Fact: the battery is the heaviest part of the car weighing in at just over 175 pounds!

Business – Business team lead Jeremiah Coholich spoke at the University Business Council to recruit more business sub-team members. If you want to join, contact Jeremiah at jeremiah.coholich@utexas.edu . As always, the sub-team is still reaching out to potential corporate supporters.

Dynamics – The dynamics sub-team is getting down to work on the bell crank, which will involve CAD and FEA. They also found a potential supplier for bearings. Team Lead James Grubbs laid out the specifications for the tires and a sub-team member will have those picked out in the next week!

Electronics – The electronics sub-team has been putting in a lot of work on the various sub systems. The battery’s external box and air cooling system has been CADed (render shown above). They are also continuing work on the pre-charge circuit, creating a brake safety system, and mounting an indicator light.

Powertrain – Team member James Yoder wrote a simulation that gives an estimate of the reduction ratios, dependent on tire data. Additionally, the sub-team produced another iteration of the stub shafts and created an assembly including half shafts, tripod bearings, and stub shafts.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more.

Your friendly neighborhood racing team,

Longhorn Racing Electric

Full Speed Ahead!

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Hello one, hello all! Here comes another update:

Business: The business team purchased and received the electronics for prototyping mentioned in previous updates. As always, they are continuing to reach out to companies. Also, they have started looking into fundraising during UT’s 40 for 40 fundraising event.

Electronics: The electronics team did a MATLAB simulation of our battery usage and found that our current configuration is indeed adequate for our car. They are continuing work on the battery design, which includes the cooling system and the battery box. Recently, the team has been exploring the feasibility of air cooling the batteries. Additionally, a few members learned how to solder surface-mounted components, which was important in getting their prototypes working.

Powertrain: Thanks to this sub-team we have decided on a new motor, the Emrax 228 (check out the Our 2017 Car Page)! However, along with the inverter, the motor  cannot be air-cooled, so the next step will be to design a liquid-cooling system for them both. With the motor selected, this sub-team has started looking into gearing ratios using torque and power data.

Dynamics: The dynamics team is still working with and figuring out the Adam’s Car simulation software. The team will use it to test the frame and suspension. Final calculations are being done to figure out the spring constants needed, and they have begun working on the anti-roll bar. Additionally, one of the sub team members 3D printed a model of our suspension system (show above). Awesome!

Body: Longhorn Racing (our sister internal combustion racing team) has graciously allowed us to reverse engineer their frame to suit our needs.Many other areas of the car depend on the frame being done, including aerodynamics and the mounting of the battery, motor, and inverter. This is big news because it helps expedite the design and manufacturing processes.

All in all, now that we have our frame figured out, the design process will be shifted into top gear as we race towards our finished design deadline!

 

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more.
 
Your friendly neighborhood racing team,
 
Longhorn Racing Electric

Longhorn Racing Electric

longhornracingelectric@gmail.com

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