Student Car Design using Formlabs Form1+ and Clay

We’re a student team from Carnegie Mellon University which designs and builds a electric racecar every year for the Formula SAE Electric competition. This year is the first time we have actually had a proper team of design students do the design for the bodywork of the car, so we decided to build models out of clay in addition to drawings. I’m the manufacturing lead for the bodywork team so I took it upon myself to print out a 7.5% scale version of the chassis after making the hollow tubes solid from our Solidworks CAD model which had hollow tubes to prevent thin walls with enclosed resin from blowout and explosions. It was then run through Netfabb and meshlab to clean up the STL.

This model was then printed on a Form1+ printer that we borrowed acess to in Clear v2 resin at 100 micron layer height at 7.5% scale as that was the largest it would possibly fit. As we lead into the first Design review this weekend for the preliminary design phase, this chassis has been extremely helpful in providing a sense of scale for bodywork as well as fitment to the chassis.

As we go into our Critical design finalization stage we hope to use 3D scanners to scan our clay model as reference for our surface model in Solidworks. In addition, we hope to print out models of the solid body model both for fit testing around the chassis model and potential scale wind tunnel testing and painting (if we can afford the cost of the resin :stuck_out_tongue:.

I’ve included some very preliminary pictures of one of our early designs.