Team members have been working all semester to design a vacuum forming table for making plastic parts. The vacuum table could be a great asset for making quick molds or shells of parts that we want to build for the bike. A few problems with material acquisition have caused members to think creatively and redesign the table out of wood instead of aluminum. After an afternoon of work the table has been pieced together and is perfectly level. The light sockets have been soldered together and the heat lamps are up and running! Next up is building the vacuum table for the molds.
To build the frame and drive shaft for this year’s human powered vehicle, we’re testing out a new process for creating carbon fiber layups. Using high grade aerospace carbon fibers with almost 10x the strength of steel and our specialized layups, a 100g part took 1125 lbs of force! The over half ton of force didn’t do as much as you might expect, and it did not fail structurally even after the fibers broke. You’ll see in the graph below that it can take the load continuously, despite large amounts of deformation and cracking.
Looks like HPV members are almost as good at winning scavenger hunts as they are at building bikes. The team held a scavenger hunt with free pizza and cookies. The clever clues took three teams of five all over the Berkeley campus. Only with ingenuity and a handy dandy smart phone were the teams able to complete the challenge. The winning team (Soroush Motahari, Zane Liu, and Mike Ambrose) scored 22 points out of 35.
Our old friend, PB&J, got a shiny, brand new chain ring this thanks to HPV member, Andrew Taylor. He helped to design and CNC a 70 teeth chain ring that was fit on to the bike to replace the standard 53 tooth one. Andrew is happy to report that PB&J is very excited to get the new chain ring. The new, shiner, much larger chain ring will increase the top speed of the bike to an estimated 42mph.
Senior members have already pushed the bike up to 32mph so far with several gears left. They report that the bike feels much smoother in the low gears with the large chainring. The team is currently looking for a long enough straight to get PB&J up to speed!