Ergonomics Jig Recap
Below is a recap of our Ergo-Jig Team building a replica chassis and receiving feedback from the SCCA Cal Club Autocross group:
To produce results in the Formula SAE Competition, the ergonomics of the driver are just as important as the performance. Our 2020 FSAE Electric Racecar, named Ampeater, holds many components into a very small chassis, therefore making ergonomics critical to the operation of the vehicle. To resolve this problem, the development of an ergo jig was needed to research the ideal position of the driver inside the chassis so all mechanical components could be placed accordingly and taken to the Cal Club SCCA autocross event for feedback.
The first step to complete the ergo jig is to find the right material for it, these materials have to be cheap, easy to adjust, and visually similar to the steel pipes that are going to be used on the actual racecar, which is why we decided and made purchase order for PVC pipes, wooden dowels, screws, and gorilla tape. To begin construction, a manufacturing plan was made, and the exact measurements were gathered from the already completed CAD model. We started with constructing the two roll hoops, which we encountered our first problem, making the bends. The bends were the most time consuming portion, we first found the radius of the bend in the CAD file, and then a cardboard cylinder was made with the same radius as our guide to the bends. After heating up the desired bend area of the pipe evenly, the bends were made to the exact angle, and verified by comparing it to the actual roll hoop on the chassis. Next, part numbers were assigned to each straight pipes that needed to be cut for better organization. Pipes were cut out, profiled, and assembled together. After a system measurement validation, a carbon fiber seat, a momo steering wheel, and a wooden pedal box was integrated and ready for driver testing.
At the Cal Club SCCA Autocross event we got great advice from some very talented drivers: The pedals should be brought down an inch so the legs of the driver could more precisely adjust the pressure given to the petals. The bar under the steering wheel should be moved up, foam or cushioning of some sort should be placed on it, so under intense driving the driver’s knees would less likely to be injured. Steering wheel should be higher, so the driver could apply more shoulder strength, and higher without affecting the driver's visibility. We were also advised on how to manufacture seat inserts for different sized drivers. All these suggestions were great advice for our team to put into action for Ampeater.