LCL Visit

[one_half last=”no”]Laydon Composites Ltd. is a very important sponsor that contributed to Azure’s successful completion. LCL specializes providing aerodynamic solutions to the trucking industry. To be more specific, LCL designs and manufactures tractor roofs, trailer air fairings and trailer wheel covers to make the tractor-trailer more fuel efficient. In the summer of 2009, LCL helped our team to manufacture the negative mould for Azure, our most recent solar vehicle. We used LCL facility and equipment to build the mould from fiberglass with support and expertise from LCL staff. The finished mould is then used to manufacture Azure’s aerobody.

Last week, we visited the LCL facility to present our thank-you plaque and team t-shirts. We shared our race stories with several LCL staff and our experiences with our past manufacturing techniques. LCL even showed us a cool project that they are working on: truck roof fairings that can accommodate solar panels, solar powered trucks anyone? Then, we received a tour of the LCL facility and we discussed ideas for an improved manufacturing process for our new vehicle.

We hope that our lasting relationship with LCL will not only help us build a fast, efficient 7th generation vehicle, but also connect University of Toronto students with the manufacturing industry and help students develop practical skills up to industry standards.[/one_half]

 

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Entering CATIA Dynamic Behaviour Library

On the morning of May 31, some of our Mechanical Team members received an exclusive workshop session on the basics of the Vehicle Dynamics Library in CATIA V6.

Aventec has been a long time sponsor and friend for our team. During reading week, several team members attended a weeklong CATIA training workshop to get started with the program. Since then, many mechanical components as well as the overall aerobody shape have started taking shape. To take full advantage of the CATIA Suite, our next step is to learn how to use the Vehicle Dynamics Library to model the dynamic performance of the solar car when all the subsystems are integrated together. This is an exciting first-time endeavor for us because until now, we could only perform static analysis of vehicle behaviour.

The friendly staff from Aventec set up a webinar exclusively for our team members and walked us through the basics. We learned about how to build off of both templates as well as from scratch in the program. With this knowledge, we are now able to develop a better understanding of the effects of different parts on the vehicle through visualization. More importantly, we will be able to simulate the stability and handling of the car prior to real world testing.

Even though most of our mechanical systems and the aerobody shape are still in the designing stage (seriously, the 2013 WSC regulation isn’t even coming out for another week!), a team of mechanical team members have begun exploring the program to prepare for when the time comes. We are very grateful for the help that Aventec and Dassault systems have given us towards developing the next generation solar car!

Aventec Visit

Do you still remember how you spent your spring break? We definitely do! A dozen of our mechanical and aerodynamics team members were fortunate to attend a week-long CATIA V6 training session sponsored to us by Aventec located in Markham, Ontario. Aventec provides Product Lifecycle Management for a series of Dassault Systèmes softwares.

Traditionally, our team has always used CATIA for aerobody design and Solidworks for mechanical design. The CATIA model of aerobody design must be subsequently imported into Solidworks to examine the components’ compatibility. For our new design cycle, both of our aerodynamics and mechanical teams will adopt CATIA V6. CATIA V6, a server-based program, can be used to create both mechanical and aerobody designs and allows designers to communicate design changes much more efficiently. Its multiple workbenches also allow for a much greater range of design features.

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The training provided by Aventec has been meticulously tailored to our needs. We were introduced to most of the functions frequently used to create mechanical shapes, beginning with Sketcher, Padding, Pocketing and the list goes on. Generative Shape Design (GSD) granted us the ability to construct surfaces with which each of us produced objects bearing elaborate and abstract curves. Assembly allowed the integration of the mock-components we created. We also acquired much amusement with CATIA’s own live chat feature and Human Builder workbench.

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