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Sharing Buggy Building Resources - Buggy Alumni Association

Sharing Buggy Building Resources

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BuggyBob
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1974
Real Name: Rob Thomas
Location: Stealing Your Wheels

Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby BuggyBob » Thu May 06, 2010 9:05 am

Back in the Stone Age when I built a buggy, one of the big problems was resources - not just cash and expertise, but the ability to 'make' buggy parts - especially machined parts and a safe area to work, with some shop equipment (that was hardly ever used for 99% of the year).
I was wonder what y'all though of all the organizations chipping together to set up a common 'shop' area (with tools) to cut the cost of making a buggy.
This could cut down on the huge expense of having small quantities of weird parts made by commercial machine shops, etc.
I can envision a drill press, a lathe, a milling machine, a band saw, etc. It would simply be a place to 'work', and only one organization could be there at a time. I can say that I learned a great deal about how to various tools and materials, when doing buggy building, but the lack of proper tools was a real pain.
I'll bet the BAA could help raise some $$$ for this, especially if the tools are bought 'used' - like on eBay, etc.
Is this a dumb idea?
* "I love the smell of solvents at Free Roll. It smells like......victory".
* "I'm loosing my mind, but I don't seem to miss it much."

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DeVos
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Graduation Year: 2010
Real Name: Kevin DeVos
Location: CT

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby DeVos » Thu May 06, 2010 10:27 am

To some extent this has been done/tried. Fringe, Pioneers and CIA all went in together on a milling machine a while back. We use it occasionally but it's not the best mill so some parts are difficult or impossible to make with it.
I know that the Roboclub shop serves a similar purpose-members have access to a fairly well equipped shop.

One of the challenges with a communal shop is getting everyone to care for the tools. It is all too easy for untrained or careless individuals to make mistakes and ruin things for everyone. If a communal shop were set up, a security deposit or membership fee may be applicable.

However, it would be great to have a dedicated shop for buggy. One of my biggest issues with all the other machine shops on campus is the difficulty in using them for nonacademic projects. I've heard rumors that Larry Hayhurst from the ChemE department was interested in a shop open to all undergrads. He is very aware of buggy(Design Comp judge this year) and I believe that this proposed shop could be used for buggy projects. If the BAA were to look into this sort of project, he may be a good first contact.

User avatar
BuggyBob
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1974
Real Name: Rob Thomas
Location: Stealing Your Wheels

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby BuggyBob » Thu May 06, 2010 11:10 am

* "I love the smell of solvents at Free Roll. It smells like......victory".
* "I'm loosing my mind, but I don't seem to miss it much."

shafeeq
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 pm
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby shafeeq » Thu May 06, 2010 2:44 pm

There's currently a room (really a large closet) with a shared milling machine in the basement of the stadium. If I were still a mechanic, I'd want a lathe to add there. Drill presses & band saws have gotten cheap enough these days that I bet every team has them already.

The mill was a cheap one and pretty well used when we got it - Billet & I put a bunch of work into getting it back into shape. The first semester we had it was rather fun because we were both building buggies and would occasionally forget to take all the drawings & half-done parts with us when we left, leaving the other to try to figure out wtf that part was supposed to do. I learned a lot about getting the most out of imperfect tools from working with that machine.

The shared aspect I think worked well when one or more teams ware using it heavily (you screwed yourself if you broke something). When it was only occasionally getting used, that incentive went away to be replaced by "I'm not going to need it again for a while, if it matters to someone else, they'll take care of it" and then, you could count on something being missing or broken every time you wanted to use it.

And this was with teams that are relatively friendly - I sadly doubt this will work if open to all teams, unless it there's someone whose job it is to make sure the shop stays in good condition.

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Elmo Zoneball
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:31 pm
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1979
Location: Bottom of Flagstaff, watching the chute, collecting samples...

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Thu May 06, 2010 10:25 pm

If shared buggy resources like the Science & Engineering Library's technical publications are any indicator, a shared machine shop would be a disaster.

It dramatically increases the opportunity to sabotage other orgs, from disabling equipment at critical times to swiping the special drill bits needed to drill holes to the proper odd-ball diameter for tapping them for standard thread sizes.

It's bad enough to have other orgs superglue the lock on your buggy garage, or steal your buggy's steering mechanism a week before the Sweepstakes -- who know what evil would be done in a communal shop facility.
"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."

User avatar
BuggyBob
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1974
Real Name: Rob Thomas
Location: Stealing Your Wheels

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby BuggyBob » Fri May 07, 2010 5:51 am

* "I love the smell of solvents at Free Roll. It smells like......victory".
* "I'm loosing my mind, but I don't seem to miss it much."

User avatar
Elmo Zoneball
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:31 pm
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1979
Location: Bottom of Flagstaff, watching the chute, collecting samples...

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby Elmo Zoneball » Fri May 07, 2010 12:50 pm

"I love the smell of solvents in the morning -- they smell like... victory."

User avatar
BuggyBob
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1974
Real Name: Rob Thomas
Location: Stealing Your Wheels

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby BuggyBob » Fri May 07, 2010 1:14 pm

* "I love the smell of solvents at Free Roll. It smells like......victory".
* "I'm loosing my mind, but I don't seem to miss it much."

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Carl Nott
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:24 pm
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Graduation Year: 1998
Real Name: Carl Nott
Location: Seattle

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby Carl Nott » Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 pm

Akron is really not that far away and there is a good library there.

I'm not entirely sold on the idea of a common use machine shop mostly because machine tools are rather dangerous. I had a friend in the Pittsburgh area who had a line on a Monarch EE for almost nothing (ie, ~$2000) and I told him no thanks, would rather not have an untrained student catching a watch and losing a hand.

I think there would be a lot of value in a common use composites fabrication shop. Some place with good ventilation and space and an emphasis on safe fabrication. Really nothing more than a couple of large wheeled tables and some racks would be pretty valuable, along with proper personal protection requirements (and non-disabled smoke alarms, etc.).

I'd think an autoclave would fall under the 'too dangerous' designation but a well set up oven should be pretty doable. A CNC router would be nice too, and would help get students some rather valuable real world skills.

Sabotage, security, etc., would be a concern, but I'd think you could design the oven/router in such a way that folks would have to, say, bring your own thermal controller and thermocouples to plug into the oven (or you could just use a switch/timer/roasting thermometer) or bring in your own laptop/computer for running the router.

Depending on interest I'm fairly sure we could get a lot of materials donated too.

User avatar
BuggyBob
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:42 am
Organization: SAE
Graduation Year: 1974
Real Name: Rob Thomas
Location: Stealing Your Wheels

Re: Sharing Buggy Building Resources

Postby BuggyBob » Mon May 10, 2010 2:02 pm

* "I love the smell of solvents at Free Roll. It smells like......victory".
* "I'm loosing my mind, but I don't seem to miss it much."


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