Saturday, July 30, 2011

Repairs Update

We started painting the upper body today with our array carefully masked off. Over the last few weeks we made a new composite lower body and have been working hard to get everything back together. Below are a series of pictures from the repair work.

Below Alex is doing some final sanding work on the lower body. Once the lay-up is pulled from the mold, the work really begins as the top and bottom halves of the mold need to be glued together and the body to be needs to be smoothed to eliminate bumps which increase aerodynamic efficiency. We use 3M micro-balloons mixed in epoxy as a lightweight filler material. Our body takes about 1.5 weeks of nearly continuous micro application and sanding to be ready for painting.

Painting in the composites room ( the car fits into the room by 1 inch)

Mechanical rebuilding: Our Chassis was unharmed, but our upper and lower A-arms need to be rebuilt. Lauren is welding one together below, while Mike works on boring out the spherical bearing pockets. We try to build as many components in-house as possible to make the SEVT a better learning experience for team members.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MIT SEVT back into the shop for repairs

In early June, MIT SEVT was out testing in the Midwest - we like the flat long stretches much better than driving around in Boston. After three days of successful testing, Chopper del Sol suffered a fairly significant accident in Iowa. Fortunately, our driver walked away unharmed, but there was damage to the lower body and steering that require them to be rebuilt.

The cause was attributed to an issue with the unique steering configuration on Chopper. In response, SEVT is redesigning a significant portion of the steering system, incorporating a time-tested design, but keeping in spirit with the original idea. Look for us at competition this October for more details.

In the meantime, we have been busy in the shop - a new lower body layup was completed successfully, and the chassis is on its way toward incorporating the redesign. Thanks for your continued support - we'll keep you updated as we move toward competition.

Below is a picture of our bottom body layup, when it was just pulled out of the mold.