Fresh college minds and lenient rules allow creativity to fire on all cylinders for the Formula SAE competition. Formula SAE is a collegiate racecar competition, where hundreds of student teams conquer all aspects of a business – from management to marketing to manufacturing – to build and compete with their car.
For students like Ryan Neff and his colleagues at Colorado State University, it’s the best experience an engineering student can get.
Last year, CSU’s racing team placed sixth overall in the FSAE competition, a huge jump for CSU who had always placed poorly before. Neff credits their 2011 success to intense planning and preparation. Either last year’s success spurned more ambitious goals or CSU finally found their groove, but this year it’s “no guts, no glory” and CSU is making huge changes.
Using Creo Elements and Windchill, the team streamlined the design-simulate-redesign process to completely overhaul the chassis and shave ten pounds off the car’s weight.
Another interesting tidbit about the team: they are working toward a sustainable car. Using ethanol as fuel and recycling all scrap material from the university’s foundry, they want to reshape the gas-guzzling, black-smoke-blowing stigma of motorsports.
The competition is the end of this month, and CSU is one team out of hundreds that are busy this week with final preparations. Good luck CSU – we’re eager to see the outcome of your intense rework!
CSU’s 2012 car is the subject of this week’s Product Design Show, where Vince and Allison show us the specifics of their chassis overhaul.