By: Loren McDonald (Mechanical Engineering, ’20)

Noah Meyers and the suspension team have been busy this season. Our team has been trying to incorporate aluminum components into our suspension system for years, and we believe that this year we will be successful with designing a suspension system that utilizes aluminum components in place of the heavy, steel components used in previous years. Noah’s group has been working hard in NX to validate our designs, and thanks to some great work from Jaafar, we believe that the aluminum components will be structurally sound. Noah will be giving his design review in about a month, so come check back in to see how much aluminum we manage to incorporate in our design this year.

Besides using aluminum, we are trying to critically damp this year’s suspension system. Noah’s team has been working with Chris Pratt, the Mechanical Engineering Department’s lab technician, to design an experiment to test our suspension system on the MTS machine. With this data we should be able to critically damp the suspension system, so that our vehicle will be able to cross obstacles better than ever.

Another project that we have been working on is the mechanism model of this year’s car, seen in the picture. Marcos has been working with all the PTLs to build an accurate simulation of our car. With this model, we will be able to analyze how our car will perform over a variety of obstacles, and it should lead us to more informed engineering decisions. Finally, it will be very beneficial when we go to present our suspension subsystem at this year’s competitions.

Another big advancement to the suspension subsystem this year is that we are going to be designing custom rear hubs. During last year’s design presentations, one consistent piece of feedback that we received was that we needed to be designing our own hubs. So this year, we decided to act on our feedback and work to design our own custom, rear hubs. Not only will this score us more points during our design presentation, but it will also help us remove even more weight from the suspension system.