The Power Behind Lithium
The development of our 2019 Powertrain’s design was an iterative process, gathering information from previous and other designs as well as external resources. Our Powertrain Lead, Adam Yoneda (‘20) said that this year’s bearing carriers were developed with the intention of correcting last year’s mistakes and future-proofing to fabricate a safe, reliable car. This mindset is why this driveline is much more serviceable and rigid. Last year’s design took 5 hours to disassemble whereas this year’s takes approximately 1 hour to disassemble AND reassemble. This design is also more rigid because the design features chain tensioning without a chain tensioner and absolutely no chain grinding on any surrounding components (although weight gain is yet to be determined).
Outside of the engineering work, a challenge that the Powertrain sub-team faced was with meeting deadlines. At the beginning of the school year, the sub-team would work long nights to meet a deadline. Noticing the drain in motivation and work ethic, Adam took initiative and decided to set soft deadlines which arrive before their hard deadlines. As a result, this evened out the workload and helped his team to meet their requirements. By spring quarter, the team members were able to relax days before the deadlines approached and instead spent their time verifying their design to account for any surprises that would inevitably come up.
Over the past 8 months, Adam learned the importance of designing to manufacturability. The skills that he gained from being on this sub-team relate to lathing, milling, 3D printing, laser cutting, grinding, and all the hand tool skills. He not only gained these skills, but also was able to teach and work with other engineers along the way. Overall, the most rewarding moment for this team was being able to see their subsystem design integrated with the rest of the electric racecar.