SAE Design Studio newly equipped
New equipment will give Kettering racing teams a boost this spring as they prepare for the upcoming SAE competitions.
New equipment will give Kettering racing teams a boost this spring as they prepare for the upcoming Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula and Mini Baja competitions. Students using the SAE Design Center to design and manufacture their competition vehicles, have a re-conditioned Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) milling machine, lathe and new welding machine to work with, thanks to the Jochum-Moll Foundation.
Purchasing re-conditioned machinery allowed Greg Davis, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and faculty advisor for the Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team, to save money and "buy a higher grade of equipment. I was able to get a much nicer milling machine buying re-conditioned equipment," he said.
"The CNC mill can be programmed to make precise cuts," Davis said, "and it can take a computer generated model and use the codes to go from a computer generated model to a finished model."
Davis was also able to purchase assorted tooling to go with both the milling machine and the lathe. "We try to give the students the tools they need to do their own design and manufacturing work," he added.
The new professional grade welder has already seen some use, welding the frames for both the new Formula car and the new Mini Baja vehicle. Both competitions allow re-use of a percentage of parts from year to year, but both Kettering teams are starting from scratch this year.
The SAE Design Center consists of a vehicle garage and small machine shop. The facility is open to students 24 hours a day seven days a week so they can develop original designs, and turn their designs into real products. Taking their ideas from concept to completion gives students an understanding of working with limited budgets in interdisciplinary teams to solve real engineering problems.
Written by Dawn Hibbard