Engineers Build A New Car From the Ground Up

May 9, 2018 Judy Warner

Rose Hulman FSAE Car

Rose Hulman FSAE Car

Judy Warner: Tell us about your team, what you make, and where you compete.

Anthony Lin: We are the Rose Grand Prix Engineering team from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and we design, build, and race a Formula style (open wheel open cockpit) race car from scratch every year. This year marks our 7th year in the competition with RGP-7 (name of our new car). We compete in the Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Internal Combustion series at Detroit, Michigan and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Warner: How many team members do you have and what levels of education are represented on the team?

Team Photo with Car

Team Photo with Car

Lin: There are around 40 members currently on the team, all undergrads. The team is comprised of electrical, computer, and mechanical engineers.           

Warner: You sent some wonderful photos of PCBs you've designed. What were some of your challenges and how did Altium Designer and the 3D feature help you this year?

 

3D Board Design in Altium Designer

3D Board Design in Altium Designer

Lin: The primary goals we had was to design lightweight, weatherproof, and rugged enclosures for all of our modules. For packaging reasons, we had to make these as small as possible to make it easier to squeeze modules into small spaces. Altium Designer’s 3D functionality made this extremely easy as we had detailed 3D models of all of our PCBs. We were able to easily design enclosures and heatsinks for high power boards. The hierarchical schematic also simplified the process of repeating circuits such as our electronic fusing as well as the room copy feature! Another great feature was differential pair routing and impedance control. This year we added a 10/100 Ethernet PHY for internet connectivity and we were able to verify correct impedances for signal integrity.

 

Main Board Design in Altium Designer

Main Board Design in Altium Designer

Warner: How many members do you have on the electrical team?

Lin: We currently have 10 members on the electrical team. The team itself is split into multiple sub-teams such as wiring, hardware, firmware, and data acquisition. There is a lot of overlap between the sub-teams which allows members to work on many aspects of the electrical system.

 

Main board in mechanical carrier

Main board in mechanical carrier

Warner: Since you are graduating this year, what are your career aspirations?

Lin: I’m planning on going into the industry for a few years working at a software company before potentially going to grad school to study more about embedded systems. My current personal dream is to help build the control system that drives an interplanetary/interstellar spacecraft.

Warner: Well, best wishes on your career, Anthony. Thank you very much for sharing your team’s progress and all the great photos.

Lin: Thanks very much for Altium’s support and the opportunity to share our team’s achievements.

 

Mock-up of FSAE and control system design

Mock-up of FSAE and control system design

About the Author

Judy Warner

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry since 1984. She has a deep background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing with a focus on Mil/Aero applications in technical sales and marketing. She has been a blogger, writer, contributor and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, The PCB Magazine, The PCB Design Magazine, PDCF&A and IEEE Microwave Magazine and is an active member of multiple IPC Designers Council chapters. In March 2017, Warner became the Director of Community Engagement for Altium and was immediately tasked with the launch of Altium’s monthly On Track Newsletter. She was also instrumental in launching AltiumLive 2017: Annual PCB Design Summit in San Diego and Munich, a newly founded annual Altium User Conference. Her passion is providing resources, supporting and advocating for PCB Designers around the world and acting as brand ambassador for Altium.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Judy Warner
Previous Article
PCB Routing Angle Myths: 45-degree Angle Versus 90-degree Angle
PCB Routing Angle Myths: 45-degree Angle Versus 90-degree Angle

When using modern PCB design software, PCB routing angles don’t have to be a hotly-contested debate as your...

Next Article
Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Tips from Electronics Expert Duane Benson
Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Tips from Electronics Expert Duane Benson

Ambiguity is the enemy of quality and speed. Get expert tips now.

×

Enjoying our blogs? Subscribe to our mailing list to have a weekly Altium blog digest sent to your inbox.

First Name
Last Name
Country
Acknowledging Altium’s Privacy Policy, I consent that Altium processes my Personal Data to send me communications, including for marketing purposes, via email and to contact me by phone.
!
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!