As far as school clubs go, it doesn’t get much cooler than the Baja SAE off-road vehicle team. Earlier in the year we wrote about Cal Poly Pomona and the rugged BAJA SAE car they built for this year’s competition. We have since been in touch with Jessica Ghareebo, Cal Poly Pomona Baja SAE President, who was able to update us on what makes the 2013 vehicle tick.
The goal of this year’s project was to lower the car’s center of gravity and decrease total vehicle manufacturing time by 30%. To start, students created a vehicle model in SolidWorks and analyzed it for aerodynamics. After finalizing the design, CAD models were sent to local company ADM Works, who donated time on their massive CNC machine to cut out molds using Precision Board Plus donated by Coastal Enterprises.
After receiving the machined molds, they were primed and sanded to a smooth finish. Students then applied a mold release before creating negative molds using a fiberglass layup technique. Finally, carbon fiber was laid up onto the fiberglass to create the finished body panel part. All molds for the body panels were made using Precision Board Plus PBLT-6, while PBLT-40 was used to create the mold for the fuel catch.
According to Anthony Cerrato, Electrical and Composites Captain, “Working with Precision Board saved the team a lot of time. After receiving the molds back from ADM Works, the cuts were so clean that finishing time was reduced.” At the time of competition, the project goals of lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity and decreasing manufacturing time by 30% were successful.
The Baja SAE competition is quite popular among university/college students. Many, many teams compete in the strenuous competition that includes uphill races and rock crawls. Cal Poly Pomona managed to do quite well in both competitions, placing 11th overall out of 100 teams in the Baja SAE East competition, and 6th overall out of 87 teams in the Baja SAE West competition. Coastal Enterprises would like to congratulate all students involved and wish them luck again for next year!