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CO2 Dragster: The Science Of Speed
Panayotis Manganaris
Kent Johnson
Understanding
● Create a racing vehical propelled by a canister of
compressed CO2 gas.
– Minimize all restraining factors
...
Explore
● Use a Shell car or a Rail Car?
– Rail cars could be made
lighter, much thinner
– Shell Cars would have superior ...
Exploring Possibilities
● A number of quick brainstorming ideas
Define: What designs are most
aerodynamic?
● Using a hybrid of Shell and Rail
design
– Allows for thin mid section
● using...
Ideate: Final Sketch
● Pictoral and Profile view
Ideate: Prototyping in Inventor
● Developing Preliminary shape out of blank
– Using extrusions
– No further refining neede...
Prototype
● Testing aerodynamics with Inventor
– Environmental analysis
● FlowDesign Software
Prototype: Testing in Flowdesign
● Average Drag Force at 10m/s: 0.06 Newtons
● Average Drag Force at 25m/s: 0.4 Newtons
– ...
Prototype: Readying for Construction
● Final Blueprints in preparation for crafting
● Materials Needed
Refine
Refine: Manufacturing
● Drawing design to scale on graph paper
– Attach sketch to blank
– Trace using band saw
● Use drill...
Solution: Weight and Drag Force
● Mass: 115 grams
– 7th
lightest out of 20 in class
●
Weight: 1.12776475 Newtons
●
Drag fo...
Solution: Race Results and Testing
Trial Time (s) Speed (m/s) Speed (km/hr) Speed
(miles/hr)
1 2.16 10.46 37.66 23.4
2 2.2...
Solution: Wheel Allignment and Spin
Wheel Alignment:
If the wheel alignment of a dragster causes it to veer sideways, it w...
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CO2 Dragster - Design Thinking Process and Manufacturing

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An exercise in utilizing physics to create a short-range racing vehicle. The car was to weigh over 45g, under 170g , and be self-propelled through a capsule of compressed Carbon Dioxide inset in the rear. The design process was oriented towards the goal of minimizing all restraining factors including drag, mass and by extension weight, and friction while keeping the vehicle sturdy enough to survive multiple races.

Published in: Engineering
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CO2 Dragster - Design Thinking Process and Manufacturing

  1. 1. CO2 Dragster: The Science Of Speed Panayotis Manganaris Kent Johnson
  2. 2. Understanding ● Create a racing vehical propelled by a canister of compressed CO2 gas. – Minimize all restraining factors ● Friction ● Drag ● Weight ● Explore best design possibilities – Sketch ● Prototype best idea using Autodesk Inventor ● Manufacture out of wooden blank.
  3. 3. Explore ● Use a Shell car or a Rail Car? – Rail cars could be made lighter, much thinner – Shell Cars would have superior Aerodynamics ● How short can the car be? – TSA Criteria limit the car at a minimum of 20cm ● Do we want Speed or Style? – We will try to develope the most aerodynamic car with speed as the goal, looks should be nice.
  4. 4. Exploring Possibilities ● A number of quick brainstorming ideas
  5. 5. Define: What designs are most aerodynamic? ● Using a hybrid of Shell and Rail design – Allows for thin mid section ● using a broad-head arrow tip. – Best Aerodynamics ● Introduce a body-length channel – reduces weight – allows for less air resistence
  6. 6. Ideate: Final Sketch ● Pictoral and Profile view
  7. 7. Ideate: Prototyping in Inventor ● Developing Preliminary shape out of blank – Using extrusions – No further refining needed ● Initial shape is not adjusted any great amount
  8. 8. Prototype ● Testing aerodynamics with Inventor – Environmental analysis ● FlowDesign Software
  9. 9. Prototype: Testing in Flowdesign ● Average Drag Force at 10m/s: 0.06 Newtons ● Average Drag Force at 25m/s: 0.4 Newtons – Some apparent oddities, apparently very little change in dragforce from blank to finished car.
  10. 10. Prototype: Readying for Construction ● Final Blueprints in preparation for crafting
  11. 11. ● Materials Needed Refine
  12. 12. Refine: Manufacturing ● Drawing design to scale on graph paper – Attach sketch to blank – Trace using band saw ● Use drill-press to make clean and straight axel hole ● Use Drum-sander to clean up edges. – Edges not accounted for in inventor prototype. – Should reduce weight and better aerodynamics
  13. 13. Solution: Weight and Drag Force ● Mass: 115 grams – 7th lightest out of 20 in class ● Weight: 1.12776475 Newtons ● Drag force (newtons): 0.139 – 6th most Aerodynamic of 20 in class
  14. 14. Solution: Race Results and Testing Trial Time (s) Speed (m/s) Speed (km/hr) Speed (miles/hr) 1 2.16 10.46 37.66 23.4 2 2.21 10.22 36.79 22.86 3 2.32 9.74 35.06 21.79 Average 2.23 10.13 36.47 22.66 Times for dragster racing on 22.6 meter track 5th place out of 20 CO2 Dragsters
  15. 15. Solution: Wheel Allignment and Spin Wheel Alignment: If the wheel alignment of a dragster causes it to veer sideways, it will create friction between the tires and the track, and friction between the string and the guiding eyelets. Friction will cause the dragster to slow. We can measure the wheel alignment of dragsters by rolling them down a short ramp, and measuring how far it veers to the side on a one meter run. #1: 5mm right drift #2: 7mm right drift #3: 3mm right drift Average: 5mm drift per meter implys possibly as much as 10cm of drift over the cource of the whole 22 meter track. Wheel spin: If the wheels on a dragster are wobbly or if they stick, it will slow the dragster down. To measure the wheel spin of a dragster, turn it over and spin each wheel in turn with your finger. Try to be as consistent as possible in the force used to spin the wheel Time how long each wheel spins using a stop watch. Left Front Wheel #1: 1.25 #2: 0.96 #3: 1.09 average 1.1 seconds Right Front Wheel #1: 1.13 #2: 1.00 #3: 1.48 average 1.203 seconds Left Back Wheel #1: 2.86 #2: 1.87 #3: 1.85 average 2.193 seconds Right Back Wheel #1: 2.08 #2: 1.60 #3: 2.28 average 1.986 seconds

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