Design of the M17 Electric and Combustion Chassis began before Auscomp 2016. With the team’s new core ethos of ‘one team, two cars’ at the forefront of the design process, it was decided that the steel spaceframe would share a universal design.

Using Siemens NX10,  a parametric CAD model was set up and iteratively changed throughout the design process. Each node of the Chassis was inserted as a point in space, and connected using tubes. The major benefits of working with a parametric model is the ability to quickly adjust designs when integrating with other sections which includes suspension geometry changes, powertrain packaging constraints, steering changes and aerodynamic compromises.

A significant advantage with a detailed CAD model, is the ability to notch the space frame tubes for manufacture. With laser cutting files generated under the guidance of our longstanding platinum sponsor Laser 3D, members of the Chassis section are able to get hands on experience using a CNC 5-axis rotary laser cutter. The opportunity to run the machine ourselves under the watchful eye of Laser 3D’s experts not only allowed us to notch tubes for two space frames in a day, but gave team members valuable experience in developing industry relevant skills.

To ensure the highest accuracy possible when assembling the laser notched tubes, laser cut jigs were used. These jigs, also cut by Laser 3D, are 6mm steel plate which are designed to be fitted together and welded into place. The jigs support and hold the tubes in place during assembly to aid the ease of manufacturability, manage product accuracy and minimize distortion.  We TIG weld all components during the spaceframe manufacture with a mixture of 1.6mm and 2.4mm electrodes and filler rods. This would not be possible without the support of Cigweld, who provide us with the resources and invaluable support to help us with all our welding needs.

The Chassis will be painted with DeBeer Refinish from our new sponsor Valspar, and from there it will be handed over to the team to begin the transformation of the Chassis into a world class racecar!

– Liam Roche (Chassis)