The concept sketch is provided by the Broughal “customers” and is the basis for the vehicle design. After some discussion and possible modification, the concept will be rendered as a CAD model by the Lehigh team members.
SolidWorks CAD rendering of the vehicle concept. The CAD geometry will be used to create the cavities in the injection mold plate inserts. Wheels and a color scheme have been added for show.
3D Printed Part created on a Makerbot 5th Gen Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machine. The prototype is printed directly from the CAD model file much like a page is printed from a document. In this case the FDM is printed in three dimensions, in very thin layers from the bottom up. The prototype can be used to assess the size and design features of the vehicle as well as to test out some paint schemes. One could even attach wheels to get an idea of the overall look and speed of the vehicle.
SolidWorks rendering of the mold inserts. The mold geometry includes the cavities for the vehicle plus the runners and gates which allow the polymer melt to flow into the cavity during molding. The larger holes in the corners of the molds will be used to secure the inserts to the mold base. The mold geometry is ready to be imported into the NX CAM software to create a set of toolpath instructions for machining.
The finished mold plates have been machined on the HAAS NC milling machine and are ready to be mounted in the injection molding machine. Note the small holes in the mold cavity. The holes will be fitted with ejector pins used to eject the cooled part from the cavity at the end of the molding process.
As Molded Vehicle
This is molded vehicle as it looks when it is ejected from the mold on the injection molding machine. The vehicle is ready for assembly (if needed), paint & wheels.
Finally, the car has been painted and the wheels have been attached. Weight may be added to the actual race vehicle to bring it up to the maximum weight limit of 40 grams. After that, the vehicle is ready for some trial runs on the practice track.