With exams completed, the team has entered one of the busiest times of the year, with most of the manufacturing for the M15 car to be completed by the end of the holidays. The first drive of the new car has been set for early August, with the flying date following shortly afterwards. This gives the team ample time to test the new car and ensure that it is competition ready. New manufacturing methods are being trialled in order to streamline the construction of M15, including the use of pre-impregnated carbon fibre and 3 axis routing machines to cut moulds.

The team is also hard at work at Chisholm Tafe in Dandenong, improving their manual and CNC machining abilities. 2015’s new recruits have begun learning how to use the manual machines, which is one of the most important learning experiences that every team member undergoes. As well as being an interesting and useful skill, this allows team members to be more involved in the manufacture of M15 from the beginning. For some of the more complex parts on M15, CNC machining is used to ensure accuracy and minimise the time it takes to create a part from scratch. On top of the standard course, 14 team members will also learn MIG and TIG welding, broadening their skill base and improving their manufacturing knowledge.

Through the support of our sponsors, the Aerodynamics section has managed to greatly reduce the manufacture time of their moulds. The undertray mould has been cut using Form-a-Sign’s 3 axis router, leaving only a small amount of post work for the section ahead of the carbon lay-ups. The moulds are created using either MDF board or tooling foam for the basic shape and finished off using body filler for the finer details. Through this process, the team is able to produce high quality carbon fibre parts.

The M15 chassis was completed in the days leading up to Semester 1 exam period, with the painting completed by Multicoat whilst the team was away for exams. This meant that closeout and panel fitting could be started as soon as we returned. The engine plate was machined by Monash University’s Mechanical Engineering Workshop, who are an invaluable asset to the team, providing manufacturing advice and assistance on a daily basis. The steering system for M15 has also been completely redesigned, with the housing being CNC machined by our new sponsors Harrop Automotive. A revised pedal box is also being manufactured with changes made to optimise the design.

Similar to previous years, the suspension section is 3D printing their hubs and uprights at CSIRO Lab 22. This innovative manufacturing technique has given us more design freedom, allowing for a complex organic design. Suspension have also been using pre-impregnated carbon to manufacture carbon wheel shells. This is a new technique leading to large weight savings for the outboard suspension.

Ryan Paine, Manufacturing Leader