2015 Dragster Design

Materials: Balsa Wood (Car Body), ABS Plastic (Wheels), Aluminum (Axles), Nylon Plastic (Wheel Spacers)

Manufacturing: Roland MDX 540 Rotary Axis CNC Mill (Car Body), Makerbot Replicator 2X 3D Printer (Wheels), Roland UV Printer ("Blue Bomber")

Design Software: Solidworks, SRP Player (Mill), Corel Draw ("Blue Bomber")

Time Frame: August 2014- June 2015

Dragster Design is a Technology Student Association (TSA) event where competitors design and build a derby car according to strict specifications. Cars are propelled by a 12 gram CO2 cartridge and race in a head-to-head, double elimination tournament. The specifications (length, weight, height, location of wheels, etc.) change each year to prevent the re-use of designs.

After sketching out various design ideas, I settled on a design inspired by aerodynamic vehicles like high speed trains and rocket cars. The rules for this year allowed for wheels to be enclosed, so placed them inside to reduce drag. The body shape was optimized for aerodynamics by creating a virtual wind tunnel through Solidworks Flow Simulation. After milling, the car body was finished with sanding, blue spray paint, and a UV-printed nickname on the side. The aluminum axles were polished and then the whole car was assembled.

This was my first year competing in the event and I placed First at State and Top 20 at Nationals.