Software makes for a speeding bullet

Software makes for a speeding bullet

The Buckeye Bullet, designed by Ohio State University students, hit 314 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, reportedly making it the fastest electrical car on earth. To develop such a vehicle, OSU students used SolidWorks 3D mechanical-design softwa

Designed with SolidWorks software, the Buckeye Bullet electrical car is reportedly the fastest with a top speed of 314 mph.

OSU students ensured a 17-in.-diameter motor fit into the Buckeye Bullet's 24-in. chassis using SolidWorks design-analysis tools.


The Buckeye Bullet, designed by Ohio State University students, hit 314 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, reportedly making it the fastest electrical car on earth. To develop such a vehicle, OSU students used SolidWorks 3D mechanical-design software, Education Edition.

"Weight is a huge factor in designing fast electric vehicles," says Isaac Harper, Buckeye Bullet team leader and an OSU junior. "We need to fit a 17-in.-diameter motor into a 24-in. chassis, while ensuring the motor is relatively light yet able to generate speeds as high as 300 mph. SolidWorks provides the design visibility to ensure every component meets specifications that could impact a car's overall performance."

SolidWorks' short learning curve lets OSU freshman get quickly up to speed on 3D modeling, while its associativity automates changes throughout the design to save time otherwise spent recreating solid models, according to Harper, who is working as a co-op student in research and development at Honda.

Students also analyze designs and troubleshoot errors before production using SolidWorks CosmosXpress, a design-analysis tool they test weights and general tolerances with. The group develops a component design in less than an hour using SolidWorks, and then tests it in two or three minutes with CosmosXpress. "Other packages may take overnight to run the same simulation analyses," comments Harper.

Director of the Center for Automotive Research at OSU and faculty adviser to students Giorgio Rizzoni entrusts students to work on their own for mechanical design. "I've got enough confidence in the students and the SolidWorks software to give them autonomy over the project. Thus, we create a future workforce that grows beyond the classroom and one that learns teamwork, sponsorship, and how to use state-of-the-art software," says Rizzoni.

SolidWorks Corp.
Concord, Mass.
solidworks.com

TAGS: CAD and CAM
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