I’m Joselyn Patterson. I’m a junior in mechanical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology and a member of the VMH Dream Team Internship Program for the summer of 2018. Last week, I had the exciting opportunity to attend FSAE Lincoln as a member of my college’s team. We were happy to place 9th in the competition out of approximately 80 teams in the internal combustion (IC) division.
Now, you must be wondering what it takes for students to design and then build one of these cars. Around the beginning of the fall semester, the team’s project engineers and leaders get together to begin the design process. To help streamline this, we use Siemens NX. Everyone starts brainstorming their ideas using what we have learned in our classes and them applying it to a race car. Once we have basic ideas, we start modeling in NX. The software allows us to make quick revisions and edits to our designs. Then, once a simple model has been created, we put our designs into an assembly that we call the master model. With this, we can see how parts fit together for better or worse. If something won’t quite fit in the car, we as project engineers could make quick changes to fix overlaps and errors.
NX also has other features that come in handy when designing the car. The chief engineer can use NX’s FEA tools to do a stress analysis of features like the frame of the car, manufacturing engineers can take a 3D shape and convert it into a sheet metal flat pattern for water jetting, and the aerodynamics group can set up an aerodynamic analysis of the wing they designed. These are only a few examples of what we as a team do with NX, and it only scraped the surface of what is possible with the software.
As a team, we use NX to do a variety of things that help us come together and build a fantastic car for competitions. Our engineering classes give us the base we need, and NX helps us make it all possible.