So registration for next semester is coming up soon and I think next semester is going to be my worst scheduled semester. It’s not because I’ll have so many gaps or that the professors teaching are bad. It’s just that I can’t fit classes that I want to take and the courses I have to take I heard are really a pain, such as Integrated Product Development and Mechanical Elements. These classes are always taken Junior year, but I always like to do things differently and change my schedule up so that it can be different. Why? Simple- because I can and I like to exploit my opportunities by finding classes I really want to take and taking them, instead.
So here’s my situation, I wanted to take this 300 level class called Gas Dynamics next semester because one of my favorite professors, Professor Oztekin, is going to be teaching it and I currently have him for Fluid Mechanics right now. Now Fluids is a pretty tough class, don’t get me wrong, but Professor Oztekin makes it seem SO simple when he’s teaching it and that’s an ability I rarely see out of professors. So that’s why I want to take that class, but its conflicting with a recitation for Systems, a class we HAVE to take! Now most people will tell you to take it when you’re supposed to take it, but me always deviating from the schedule, I feel like skipping it and taking it in the fall. I’m not 100% set on this, but that’s what my mind is telling me to do. So hopefully I can figure something out because there are some other conflicting classes that go along with my schedule as well.
I don’t know if it’s me, but when I’m learning a new CAD system and already know another one, it becomes easy and frustrating at the same time to learn the new CAD system. This has been somewhat of my case taking ME 010 (Graphics for Engineering Design) where I am now learning the CAD system, NX 8.5 (picture on the bottom). I had previously learned SolidWorks (picture on top) a while back and loved it. There were tutorials that I learned from and I would test my design skills by going online and looking up things to design provided by SolidWorks. But now that I’m learning NX 8.5, I tend to rush a lot and instead looking at the tutorials, I try figuring out where each button is on my own using my SW background. It works sometimes, but it doesn’t always work. For example, the orientation and navigation of both systems are relatively similar along some extrusion and editing features. Yet some things are different in NX 8.5 like cutting a hole through a hole. In SW, you click on the Extruded Cut button, but in NX the button is still Extrude and you have to look for the Subtract button.
Things like that got me annoyed my first time with NX. Because honestly, why can’t you just have a cut button? It’s rather annoying and it takes up a lot of time. But now that I have had a little bit of experience with NX, I don’t get as frustrated anymore. Each software has its benefits when using. I still have yet to see aspects of NX that make it better than SW, but I’ll take it easy before I start criticizing NX and learn as much as possible. Either way however, it’s good to know as much as you can when it comes to doing CAD design. The more you know, the merrier!
Yes oh yes… Finals are here and they are ready to consume our souls and devour our minds. Well, maybe not that bad, but they still are a pain to deal with and nobody really wants to take them. This semester, I have 5 finals and my first one is tonight at 7pm. It’s a French exam, but I’m not worried about it at all. The engineering classes however, will be tougher to deal with considering I have three of them back to back from Saturday through Monday. My schedule isn’t as bad as some other people’s. One of my friends has 5 finals in 4 days! Honestly, how can you even fathom that? That probably actually can consume your soul if you don’t prepare well enough. But hopefully everybody is ready and can do their best. It is now time to ride the struggle bus. All aboard!
The Formula Team has had some nice progress this week in getting the car finished since the competition is in 2 weeks and this past Monday,we were able to put in the front panel of the car, which is where the front suspension and wheels will go.
Our car last week looked liked this without the panel:
Here, we were bending the pane getting it flat on all sides so that we could insert in the car:
And then this is what the car now currently looks like:
We have a lot more work to do, but we have been making good amount of progress and we hope to get the front suspension mounted on the car by the end of this week. More updates to come!
So the latest news from the Formula Team is that our front panel for the car was not designed right and we made the wrong shape due to some design errors and other miscommunication. One of the problems was that we had extra curves going down two sides of the panel. So our captain, Andrew, redesigned the front panel and had the bright idea of making a template for the car since we had messed up the first time and we wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again. This template here is the finalized design (hopefully) for the panel before we actually make the real one. The template is at half ratio of that for the real panel. So think about this template being doubled… That’s how big our front panel will be. Too bad we didn’t think about this earlier because we would’ve saved foam, carbon fiber, and time so that we wouldn’t mess up. The only problem now is actually buying the material because we don’t have a large enough sheet of aluminum that will fit our desired dimensions. More updates to come.
This past week, our formula team went up to Lafayette College to present our plan for our car including our goals, new materials we were using, new methods we were doing, and how these implications would better our car.
The presentation wasn’t just for formula cars, but also for other types of cars and planes as well. Penn State, for example, had two teams presenting a plane that they want to build for next year and the other team showed their Baja car that they have been working on.
This is Zach, the lead designer for our car’s brakes. He talked about how he was able to make more efficient brakes using a design method a little bit more different so that there could be no warping on the brakes. He also talked about the factor of safety and the new features that the brakes could perform.
Presentation night was new to me so it was pretty interesting to see how each team’s idea for building their car or plane. Our revealing of the car is this Friday and although we are not completely done with the car, we have been on track with most things and will be ready by competition.
This past weekend, a few of us on the Formula Team went to create the rear uprights for the car at Packard. This piece of aluminum here was to be cut into the desired shape that we wanted using what is called CNC (computer numerical control) with a Haas Vertical Machine. Basically, one writes a program using G-code and/or CAM (computer aided manufacturing) telling the Haas Machine what cuts to do and the machine does it for you.
Here’s the machine we used:
If you want to see how it works, click the link!
And here’s our two rear uprights that we created:
Pretty cool, huh? These parts took a while to machine since we had most of the program on the mill set to G01 which means linear interpolation and not G00, which is rapid movement. I’m starting to learn a little more about G-coding and its use and I’ve gotten to learn quite a bit. I get amazed with how much some of the Formula team members know about cars and I will continue to learn from them.