Hi everyone! It's Javier. I thought I would update you on the physical testing myself and Tom have been doing since being back at school. To be honest it hasn't all gone to plan, but as James Dyson says ‘Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success’ I must admit this has been hard to follow! However over the last two weeks we’ve learned a variety of things that will be useful, some of which we would like to share with you.
In the lockdown we built, what we thought was, a perfectly clear and structured plan for the return to school on how to test our car from developments made in virtual analysis. On returning to school soon we realised that in reality things take longer than you think they will. Deadlines we set ourselves were obviously too optimistic and were missed, things break, rooms aren’t available, people get ill, etc. When we do this again we will of course create a logically structured plan but minimise chance for errors to occur and even have ideas of a contingency plan that could be used if a big error occurs!
Disappointingly we had quite a few issues with track testing. We recently stayed after school to set up our homemade 20m track. During this session we had a few ‘explosions’ with parts flying off in all directions. We have now learned about the importance of ‘just because it looks good and works in CAD doesn’t mean it works in the real world.’ Firstly because some parts may very easily break (as was common with us) and secondly as the tolerance of 3D printing means the physical model may be bigger or smaller than expected.
Despite this we, of course, did not give up! We love a challenge. We soon returned to test on our smaller 10m track which meant we could test more components in a shorter amount of time. As well as this we learned from our mistakes and re-designed some CAD to later re-print them to test. However, this wasn’t enough… As you can see from the image below it was pretty frustrating. The car snapped! This was very unexpected as we would expect compression not shear of the car due to it hitting the front of the body directly head on.
Although these are some major setbacks we had figured out how we will realistically be able to develop our Regionals car and gained a vast amount of knowledge. What’s the point in testing if you don’t learn anything? Following what real F1 teams do, we are working ahead on the Eclipse car and are treating this as one big development for the future.
UP NEXT: Tune in with Maisie to find out more information on how we plan to finish our verbal presentation, portfolios and pit display before the regional final submission deadline.