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Modeling a Formula SAE Chassis in Pro/Engineer and

Mechanica
A step by step tutorial and discussion covering the entire modeling and drawing creation process.
Matthew Poss
Columbia University FSAE
12/28/09
Overview
Chassis modeling begins by creating a part in Pro/Engineer. For the past two years, we have
begun by modeling the roll hoops, connecting the points in between, and then working outwards
to the very front and rear of the car designing based on the constrains of the rules and the other
car systems. Designing and modeling an organic three-dimensional structure in Pro/Engineer is
a time consuming process. However, there are a number of tips and tricks that can make the
modeling or any modifications considerably quicker and easier.
Practically all of the beams for the chassis are modeled by connecting two points. The points are
typically defined on datum planes or sketches, which themselves are defined in relation to other
planes or axes. The only exceptions to this guideline are the two roll hoops, which are defined as
sketches. Since fifty or so beams are defined from datum points, and since design modifications
can occur at any point in the design-build process, it is important that the definition of the points,
specifically the planes on which the points are placed, is given due planning and consideration.
Planes should be defined for every important elevation or vertical section of the chassis (Figure
1). An important vertical section is an elevation where beams are located or where a group of
points are defined. An important elevation, for instance, is that of the upper side impact structure
or the top of the rear box. On both of these elevations, there are a number of important points
that define beams both on and around the horizontal plane at that elevation. The elevation of
both planes is also subject to change while designing the chassis. Consequently, it would be
wise to define and label a plane for each one of these areas. An important vertical section, just
like an important elevation, is any vertical section with a group of points. These vertical section
should be each be defined on a plane and should be given the same sorts of considerations as the
elevations. In addition to just creating & defining these planes, the major chassis planes should
be defined in a logical manner. For instance, it might make sense to define the top of the rear box
in relation to the ground plane or the bottom of the rear box depending on which dimension is
convenient to the suspension designers. This sort of consideration will eliminate numerous
dimension conversions.

Roll Hoop Modeling


Once the important planes are placed, the roll hoops should be created. The roll hoops are best
modeled as sketches within planes that are at the angle and location of the hoops. In order to
define a plane at an angle, an axis and a reference plane are needed. An axis can be defined by
the intersection of two planes or by two points. Once the planes for the two roll hoops are created
and appropriately spaced, sketch the centerline of the hoops within those angled planes (Figure
2). The sketch will serve as a convenient method for modeling the hoops in both the Mechanica
beam model and the main model of the chassis. The two die for our tube bender are for 3.5 and
5.5 centerline bend radii. The bends in the hoops should only be those radii.

Figures 1 & 2: The planes, points, axes, and sketches of a chassis model and a sketch of the main
roll hoop.
Cockpit Modeling (Point on a Curve)
The cockpit is the next logical part of the chassis to design. The points for the cockpit beams can
be defined on or in relation to the roll hoop sketches, the upper side impact structure plane, and
the plane for the bottom of the chassis. In order to define a point on one of the roll hoop
sketches, first select the Datum Point Tool (Figure 3) and then select the appropriate sketch. In
order to define a point at a specific height, the point must be defined as offset from a horizontal
plane. To define the point, select the Reference button in the Datum Point dialogue box
(Figure 5) and then select the plane to reference. Specify the offset distance in the Offset field.
The offset is measured normal to the reference plane. If you would like the point to be placed on
the plane, specify an offset distance of zero. New points can be added by clicking New Point
in the left column of the box. Points should be specified for the endpoints of all of the beams in
the cockpit. A point can serve as an endpoint to multiple beams.
Once the points for the beams in the cockpit are defined, points can be defined for beams in other
parts of the car. There are a few options for defining points in these areas. Additional sketches

can be created, as with the roll hoops, and then points can be defined in relation to the sketches.
Additionally the Sketched Datum Point tool (Figure 4) can be used to define points within a
sketch specifically for datum points.

Figure 3: Datum Point Tool Icon.

Figure 4: Sketched Datum Point Tool Icon


in the Datum Point Tool Menu
Figure 5: The Datum Point Tool dialogue
box. The offset for the point is defined off a
datum plane as opposed to a curve end so
the Real / Ratio menu is not visible.
Point Definition
Within a sketch, it is often convenient to define additional planes or points as references. These
additional references are useful if a sketch is being made in a vertical plane but points need to be
defined in relation to a horizontal plane. If the points in the sketch are defined in relation to the
horizontal plane and the horizontal plane is moved, then the points will move as well. A plane,
or any other entity can be referenced by going to the Sketch menu at the top of the screen
when in sketch mode and then clicking on References... (Figure 6). Points, planes, axes,
sketches, etc. can then be defined or deleted as references in the sketch though the References
dialogue box (Figure 7).

Figures 6 & 7: The Sketch menu and the Reference dialogue box. As long as the cursor button
is highlighted as it is in the image, references can be added by clicking on features within the
sketch.
The Datum Point Tool also has other useful capabilities. The offset on a curve can be defined
as either Ratio or Real. If Ratio is selected, then the Offset field can accept a value of
zero to one. The specified value will determine where the point will be placed measured from
the curve end as a percentage of the total length of the curve. For example, specifying a value of
0.5 will place the point in middle of the curve. If Real is selected, the point will be placed
the specified distance from the end of the curve measured along the length of the curve. Pressing
the Next End button will switch the end of the curve that the offset or ratio is measured from.
If a plane reference is selected, then the offset will be measured normal to the plane.
Finally, points can be defined by Cartesian, cylindrical, or spherical coordinates offset from a
specified coordinate system using the Offset Coordinate System Datum Point Tool (Figures 8
& 10). The chassis assembly or part will have a default coordinate system however additional
coordinate systems can be defined with the Datum Coordinate System Tool (Figure 9). If
points are defined via coordinates, however, their location must be modified by re-specifying
their location or moving the coordinate system. For the 2008 car, the suspension points were
defined by this method. This method has been abandoned for the 2010 car with the introduction
of a complete, moving suspension model. Please note that the reference for the Offset
Coordinate System Datum Point Tool is a coordinate system, not a line, point, plane, or axis.

Figure 8: Offset Coordinate System Datum


Point Tool Icon in the Datum Point Tool
Menu.

Figure 9: Datum Coordinate System Tool


Icon
Figure 10: Offset CSys Datum Point
Dialogue Box.
Chassis Modeling in Mechanica
Once all of the major points are defined for the chassis beams, a beam model must be created in
Mechanica in order to optimize the frame design. Before starting Mechanica, however, the units
of the model should be checked and modified if need be. This can be accomplished by going to
the Edit menu on the top bar, selecting Setup and then selecting Units. The Pro/Engineer
default is Inch lbm second however with the Inch pound second units, the unit of force is
pound-force as opposed to inch-lbm/seconds2. This difference is important especially when the
quantity of concern in the analysis is force. To set the units as Inch Pound Second, select
Inch pound second and click Set (Figure 11).
Mechanica can be accessed by the Applications menu at the top of the screen (Figure 12). The
first time Mechanica is started, a dialogue box will appear to define settings for the analysis
model. The default settings of Structure, un-checked FEM Mode, and Bonded are correct
(Figure 13). Not checking FEM mode tells Pro/E to use its own software to perform the analysis
as opposed to preparing the model for export to another analysis software.

Figure 12: Applications Menu.

Figure 11: Units Manager.

Figure 13: Default Mechanica Settings.


These are the correct settings for a chassis
beam model.

Mechanica Beam Creation


We use a Mechanica beam model to analyze the stiffness, weight, and torsional rigidity of the
chassis structure. In order to create a beam in the model, select the New Beam icon (Figure
14). If the beam is defined by two points, select Point-Point under the References dropdown menu (Figure 15). For the roll hoops, the Edge(s)/Curve(s) option is required. Select
the appropriate points or curve for the beam definition. Next, select the material of the beam, for
a steel chassis, select STEEL (Figure 19). Finally, the beam section needs to be defined. To
the right of the Beam Section drop-down menu, select More The Beam Sections
dialogue box will appear (Figure 17). Select New on the upper right of the box. The Beam
Section Definition box will allow the creation of a new beam section (Figure 16). The chassis
beams are typically Hollow Circle with the occasional Hollow Rectangle. Define the inner
and outer radii of the beam. Give the beam section a useful name. For example if it is an 0.095
wall tube, 095 would be an appropriate name. Click OK. Make sure the correct beam
section is selected and click OK again. Note that the two dimensions specified for the beam
section are RADIUS dimensions, not diameter values. If diameters are specified, Pro/E will
interpret them as radii and the beams will be modeled incorrectly. Repeat this definition process

for all of the beams and beam sections that need to be created. Once a beam is created, it will
appear in the model tree under Idealizations and then under the sub-heading, Beams.

Figure 14: New Beam Icon.

Figure 17: The 1x0.095 beam section


selected.
Figure 15: References drop-down menu.

Figure 16: A 1x0.095 beam section


defined.

Figure 18: A fully defined beam minus the


beams two endpoints.

Figure 19: The Materials dialogue box. In order to select the STEEL material, highlight the
steel.mtl file as shown and click the upper arrow >>> button.
Mechanica Beam Creation Issues & Hints
There are two issues when modeling the chassis beams in Mechanica. If two beams form an X
and intersect at the middle of the X, then the two beams must be modeled as four beams, with
each beam either starting or ending at the middle of the X (Figure 20). If the beams are not
modeled in this manner, Pro/E will not see the beams as joined at the intersection. If a horizontal
beam intersects a vertical beam in the middle of the vertical beam, then the vertical beam must
be split into two beams with one ending at the intersection and the other beginning at the
intersection. This intersection problem, however, is not an issue when beams intersect curves.

Figure 20: Incorrect and correct modeling of intersecting beams. Start/end points are indicated
by solid circles.

The second issue involves vector definition of the beams. In the Beam Definition dialogue
box, there are X, Y, and Z fields that specify a vector for the beam. The default setting for these
boxes is 0,1,0, which creates a vector in the y-direction (Figure 21). This setting becomes
problematic when a vertical beam is desired. In the event of a vertical beam, a different vector
must be specified such as 1,0,0.

Figure 21: The vector fields for a beam idealization. The values displayed, 0,1,0, are
incompatible for a vertical beam.
As the beam model is populated with beams and their cross-sections, it often becomes quite
confusing to view. Fortunately, the cross sections of the beams can be turned off. To turn off
the beam sections, go to Simulation Display under the View menu at the top of the screen.
Under the Modeling Entities tab, un-check Beam Sections (Figure 22).
Finally, in order to properly model the rear of the chassis, it becomes necessary to define beams
in relation to the engine. Consequently, the engine model must be included within the
Mechanica beam model. An assembly file must be created with the chassis part and the engine
part. Unfortunately, a Mechanica analysis of the assembly file will not recognize any Mechanica
beam idealizations created within the chassis part file. All of the beams for the chassis/engine
beam model must be created within the assembly file. Hence, a lot of time is saved by placing
the chassis part in an assembly file before beginning to model in Mechanica. The engine can be
modeled as a rigid object using the New Rigid Link tool (Figure 23).

Figure 23: The New Rigid Link Icon.

Figure 22: The Simulation Display dialogue


box. Beam Sections has been un-checked
in this image.
Force & Constraint Definition
After the beams are defined, constraints and forces must be defined for the analysis. There are
many different constraints that can be defined for a model. For torsional rigidity tests, we have
used two fixed constraints at the rear rocker mounts and two opposite, vertical forces at the two
front rocker mounts of the chassis. Ideally, the suspension a-arms and an upright representation
would be modeled and the forces and constrains would be applied at the wheels. Nevertheless, a
fixed constraint can be created by selecting the New Displacement Constraint button. In the
Force/Moment Load dialogue box, selecting Points on the References drop-down menu,
allows a point to serve as a fixed constraint. A new force can be created by selecting the New
Pressure Load tool. Again, if Points is selected in the References drop-down menu, a point
can be defined for force application. The components of the force or moment can be specified at
the bottom of the dialogue box in the X, Y, and Z fields. We have used +/- 700 pounds for the
past three years.

Figure 24: New Displacement Constraint


Icon

Figure 25: New Pressure Load Icon

Analysis Creation
To analyze the model, a design study must be created. Click the Run a Design Study button
(Figure 26) at the top of the screen, then select File and New Static (Figure 27). The
analysis can be named and given a description. The appropriate load and constraint sets can be
selected if multiple sets exist. Additional settings can be specified at the bottom of the dialogue
box, the settings largely control the accuracy and subsequent computation time of the analysis.
In order to begin the analysis, click the Start Run button (Figure 29). Allow the analysis to
run. When the analysis is complete, click the View Results button (Figure 30) to view visual
and colorful representations of the analysis results. In order to view a textual and numerical
report of the results, click the Display Study Status button (Figure 31).
Before running an analysis, make sure to save the model. Otherwise, Pro/Engineer is liable to
crash and any settings or modifications will be lost. Throughout the design process, it is a good
idea to save the file often.
After an analysis, point locations can be modified in the Standard application and then tested
in Mechanica.

Figure 26: Run a Design Study icon.

Figure 28: The Analysis & Design Studies


dialogue box.

Figure 27: New Static Analysis Creation.


Figure 29: The Start Run icon.

Figure 30: The View Results icon.

Figure 31: The Display Study Status icon.

Tube Modeling Methods


After an acceptable design is finalized in Mechanica, or even before one is finalized, modeling
and notching of the chassis tubes can begin in the standard Pro/Engineer model. There are two
methods of chassis modeling that have been used in the past three years: the Tucker/Brauser
Method and the Poss Method. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each
method.
Additionally, when modeling, it is often helpful to display all of the components, axes,
extrusions, etc. of each part in the model tree. To display all of the objects, select Settings at
the top of the model tree and then scroll to Model Tree. Make sure all of the Display options
are checked (Figure 32).

Figure 32: The Model Tree Items dialogue box. Notice that all of the items in the left column
have been checked.
Tucker/Brauser Method Overview
With the Tucker/Brauser Method, each tube is created and extruded outside of the assembly
model. Each tube part is then placed in the chassis model and subsequently notched. The main
advantage of this method is that due to the method in which the part was created, each tube part
inherently has a front, top, and right datum plane associated with it. The main disadvantage of
this method arises if there are any changes to the chassis model. In the event of any changes,

each tube length has to be re-measured and each extrusion length has to be modified.
Additionally, placing each part in the assembly can be relatively cumbersome.
Poss Method Overview
The Poss Method entails creating and defining a part entirely within the assembly model. The
advantage of this method is that the swept length of each tube is defined from points in the
model. If a distance is changed or modified, then the tube length and notches will change
accordingly. The main disadvantage of this method is the time-consuming need to define all the
datum planes and views for each part. When a part is created in assembly mode, it does not have
a front, top, and right datum plane associated with it.
Tucker/Brauser Method Description
Before extruding a tube, the length of the tube must be determined using the Measure
Distance tool (Figure 33), which can be found under the Analysis menu at the top of the
screen. The distance between the two endpoints of the tube should be measured and recorded.
Next, the tube part must be created via the New option under the File menu. Once the part is
created, the tube cross section must be sketched and extruded to the length that was just
measured (Figure 34). The part must now be saved and placed in the assembly. Open the
chassis assembly. Place the part in the chassis model by clicking the Add Component to
Assembly button (Figure 35). Browse to the part and click Open. The part should be defined
by a Point-on-Line constraint on each end (Figure 36). The point should be a point within the
chassis assembly; the line should be the centerline axis of the part. A Point-on-Surface
constraint is also necessary; use a chassis point and the surface of the end of the tube. Finally, a
Fix constraint will fully constrain the part. After the tube is placed, it can be notched. The
notching process is the same for both methods and is explained after the description of the Poss
Method.

Figure 34: Extruding a separate part to the


measured distance.

Figure 35: The Place Component in


Assembly icon.

Figure 33: The Distance measuring tool


measuring the distance between two points.

Figure 36: The constraints defining the placement of the tube in the 2008 chassis model.
Poss Method Description
The Poss Method begins with the creation of a part within the assembly model by clicking the
Create a Component in Assembly Mode button. When the Creation Mode dialogue box
appears, select Empty. After the part is created, right click the part in the model tree and select
Activate in order to create and modify the part. In order to create the tube, a swept protrusion
needs to be created. Refer to Tutorial 10 from the Drafting and Design Course (on the FTP) for
instructions on how to create a swept blend. In order to properly model the tubes, a plane will

often have to be defined specifically for the tube. In order to define a plane for the trajectory,
select Make Datum (Figure 37) and then select the features, preferably points, that define the
plane. In order to select the points, click Through on the menu that appears and then click the
first point. Click Through again, select the second point; click Through a third time, and
select the third point. Two of the three points should be the endpoints of the tube. Click Done,
Okay, and then Default. Pro/Engineer will then prompt for sketch references. It is easiest to
select the start and end points of tube as the sketch references. Close the References box and
then sketch a line between the two points. This line is the trajectory for you tube; it is the
centerline of the tube. Confirm the sketch. Select Free Ends and click Done. You will be
prompted to sketch the cross-section of the sweep. Sketch the tube cross-section and confirm the
sketch. Click OK. The tube is now extruded. Now planes need to be defined.

Figure 37: The plane selection/creation menu for creating a sweep.


With the part still activated, select the Datum Plane Tool. This tool will create a plane for the
tube. If the tube is entirely within an existing plane, select that preexisting plane and set the
offset to zero. If a plane must be defined, select the start and end points of the tube and a logical
third point (Figure 38). The CTRL key must be held down in order to select multiple features.
If there are notches in the tube (or if some will be created), it will make drawing creation easier if
one of the planes is either in the same plane or perpendicular to a plane with a notch. The second
plane can easily be defined by selecting the first plane, the axis through the center of the tube,
and then specifying 90 degrees as the angle offset between the two planes (Figure 39). If an axis
does not exist, one must be created by clicking on the Datum Axis Tool and then selecting the
start and end points of the tube. The third plane must be created normal to the first two planes.
First select the Datum Plane Tool; then select one of the planes already defined for the tube.
In the Datum Plane dialogue box, select Through - it is to the right of the datum plane name.
A drop-down menu will appear. Select Normal. Do the same for the second plane. Finally, a
point is needed to finish the definition of the plane (Figure 40). Select either the start or end
point of the tube, either will do. Now, the tube and datum planes for the part are fully defined in
the model.

Figures 38, 39, & 40: Datum planes defined by three points, a plane and an axis, and two planes
and a point.
The final step to this method, without actually notching the tube, is to define two views for the
part. Locate the part on the model tree, right-click the part, select Open. Click on the View
Manager icon on the top toolbar (Figure 41). Select the Orient tab. Click the New button
and hit Enter / Return (Figure 42). Then click the Edit button and select Redefine (Figure
43). Select the front plane and a plane normal to the front plane. Define two views for the part,
one along the length of the tube and one along the cross section of the tube (Figures 44 & 45).
These will be needed when creating a drawing of the part.

Figure 41: The View Manager Icon.

Figures 42, 43 & 44: The View Manager dialogue box with a new view created. The view
manager edit menu with the Redefine option highlighted. Finally, one of the two views
required to create a drawing: the tube cross-section.

Figure 45: The second view required to create a drawing: a tube profile view.
Tube Notching
All of the tube notching takes place within the chassis assembly file. Once in the chassis
assembly, activate the tube that is to be notched. Instead of creating a swept protrusion, a swept
cut must be created. Select the Insert menu and scroll to Sweep and then select Cut. The
instructions for creating a swept cut are identical to creating a swept protrusion as described
under Poss Method Description and Tutorial 10 from the Drafting & Design course. For every
notch in a tube, a cut must be created. An axis must also be created along the centerline of each
notch. This axis is for the technical drawing of the tube and is used to specify the location and
angle of the notch in relation to the tube and other notches.
In many instances, the length of certain tubes needs to be extended so that the tube does not end
midway through the notch of another tube (Figure 46 & 47). In order to extend a notch, either
the tube needs to be extruded to be longer or the sweep trajectory needs to be lengthened
depending on the modeling method being used.

Figure 46: Tube extruded/swept to incorrect


length.

Figure 47: Tube extruded/swept to correct


length for notch.

Drawing Creation
A drawing can be created once the tube is extruded, notched, and all the axes, planes, and views
are defined. A technical drawing must indicate the wall thickness of the tube, the overall length
of the tube, the angles of the notches, and the axial angle between the notches (Figure 49). The
only difficult item regarding the drawings is orienting the tube appropriately so that an accurate
angle measure can be generated for the notch. In order to generate an accurate notch angle, the
tube may have to be rotated about its centerline axis until the axis for the centerline of the notch
is also in the plane of the drawing. The two axes are in the same plane when the notch lines on
the tube overlap in the drawing (Figure 48).

Figure 48: A notch with the correct angle measure (left). The same notch, but with the notch
axis rotated out of the drawing plane (right). Notice the alignment of the cross sections and the
difference in angle measures 50 degrees is the correct angle for this notch.

Figure 49: A drawing for a chassis tube.


In order to rotate a tube within a drawing, select the tube, right-click the tube, and select
Properties. Select the Angles radio button (Figure 50). In the Rotation reference menu
that appears, select Edge/Axis and then select the centerline axis of the tube. Specify the angle
and click OK.

Figure 50: The Drawing View properties dialogue box.

Chassis Construction
Throughout chassis construction, there are a number of issues that arise due to the inherent
challenges of the process and, to a degree, a lack of proper equipment. Tube bending is
inherently difficult due to the elastic properties of metal. In addition, our tube notchers have
certain limitations, specifically their maximum notch angle and their inability to determine
angles about the centerline axis of the tube. Finally, assembling the tubes to form the chassis
frame posses a number of three-dimensional placement challenges.
Bending the Tubes
The elasticity of the steel makes measurement of the relaxed angle of a bend difficult on the tube
bender. This measurement becomes increasingly difficult as the bend angle increases since the
elasticity of the bend increases with the bend angle. This year, in order to accurately determine
the bend angle, we under-bent the tube, outlined the bent tube on the chassis table, and then
measured the angle between the bent lengths of the tube. We would then place the tube back on
the bender and bend the tube a bit more and repeat the process until the bend angle was
acceptable. Through the tracing and sketching, we were able to improve the accuracy of our
bends.
Notching the Tubes
In order to address the limitations of the maximum angle of our tube notchers, we increased the
maximum allowable angle of one of our notchers by ten degrees. We made this increase by
increasing the angle travel of the notcher by a bit of machining. However, with the increase, one
of the three bolts securing the angle of the notcher was rendered useless. A clamp was employed
to replace the bolt. This modification allowed us the capability of cutting all of our notches, the
largest of which was 67 degrees, on the tube notcher.
This year, we employed three different methods for determining the angle between notches
around the centerline axis of the tube. The first method was taken from previous years and
involved using a 360-degree protractor the fit around the outside of the tube. The accuracy of
this method is dubious since the angles are specified in 10-degree increments.
The second method for determining the angle offset on the tube was to draw the angle on a piece
of paper. A mark from the angle center was then placed on each arm of the angle (Figure
51). These marks were then aligned with the outer diameter of the tube and the angle offset
was marked on the tube.

Figure 51: A sample sketch the angle and the marks. The sketches we made were done by
hand with a protractor.
In the third method, we calculated the length of the arc formed by the angle on the outside of the
tube and then used that length to determine the location of the offset notch. Once the length of
the arc was determined, the length was measured on a slip of paper and then transferred onto the
tube via that slip of paper.
Of the three methods of determining the offset angle of a notch on the outer diameter of a tube,
the last two methods of measuring the angle or the arc distance on a piece of paper are the most
accurate. However, using a 360-degree protractor is quicker.
Assembling the Chassis
After the tubes are bent and notched, they need to be assembled together to form the chassis
frame. We begin chassis assembly by drawing out the bottom beams of the chassis on the
chassis table. The drawing will ensure that the beams are placed correctly within the XY-plane
of the chassis. The bottom chassis beams are held in place with 1x3 pine lengths that are
secured to the chassis table via screws.
Before the hoops were assembled in the chassis, the bottom horizontal beam for each hoop was
welded to the hoop while the width of the hoop was constrained on the table to account for any
imperfections in the bends. Additionally, while the tubes were being welded, the entire hoop and
tube assembly was clamped down to a flat surface. We learned the importance of clamping
down the tube the hard way. After beginning to weld the bottom horizontal tube to the front
hoop, we noticed that the tube had bent out of plane. After clamping the tubes so that they
were in plane, we went over the welds and finished the rest of the welding, which resulted in a
flat hoop. From this experience, we learned that any tube assembly that should be assembled flat
must be firmly clamped to something flat while welding. Otherwise, severe warping of the piece
will occur.

When placing a horizontal beam at a particular height, wooden pieces were cut precisely at that
so that the tube could be placed atop the wooden beams while being tacked into place. The
wooden beams ensure that the steel tube is assembled at the correct height
When assembling certain beams, such as the roll hoops, at a particular angle, pieces of wood
were joined together to form the desired angle of lean. In order to form the angle, the two pieces
of wood were cut to the correct angle on the miter saw. The angles at the end of the pieces were
aligned, and the pieces were screwed together (Figure 52). The beams were then affixed to the
angled jigs by zip-ties and then the assembly was placed in the appropriate location on the
chassis table.

Figure 52: A jig for a beam angled at 10-degrees to vertical.


For more complex assemblies, such as the square tubing for the suspension and the diagonal
beams for the rear box, more complex jigs were employed to ensure precise placement of the
beams (Figures 53 & 54). After creating and then remaking numerous jigs in 2008, we learned
that it is best to model these more complex jigs in CAD before construction to ensure that the
dimensions of the critical points are correct. Using these methods for bending, notching, and
jigging, we have been able to speedily build a chassis that is accurately constructed given the
available tools.

Figure 53: A jig design for placing the square tubing for the front suspension tubing. The
drawing incorrectly states that one jig should be made when two are necessary.

Figure 54: A jig design for the diagonal pieces for the rear box.