F1 in Schools

The international Formula 1 engineering challenge. Teams of six work independently in to design, manufacture and race highly technical 200mm balsa wood cars against other teams from around the globe. Offering a way of learning about real-life Formula One and apply Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) knowledge, it is a project which expands the strengths of the students, pushing them to produce a high quality product and present themselves professionally, above and beyond anything ever required by the school curriculum.

LunAR Advanced Racing is this The Crypt School’s 2014/15 F1 in Schools team following the success of our previous team, ‘Quantum Racing’. For more information about the team and their progress, or if you would like to contact us, please visit our website: www.advancedracing.co.uk

 

The cars

Car design is the first major step in the competition. Teams are required to use computer-aided design (CAD) software to design and create digital scale models of their car. This stage requires some compromise on the ideal designs for the car, as it must be designed according to the Technical Regulations while at the same time optimising all features of the car to formulate the most efficient and aerodynamic design. Testing the car is the next stage in the optimisation process. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software is used to create simulations of the car under various conditions and wind speeds etc. The software is capable of simulating virtual wind tunnels, pressure and stress tests, as well as testing the structural integrity of the car and providing the team with critical data in any of these fields. By working out parameters such as the car's overall drag coefficient, pressure distribution and 'downforce', it allows rapid prototyping of the cars and benchmark results for quick, standardised design comparisons. Physical testing, carried out once a prototype car has been manufactured, is done using our own testing facilities, which have either been bought or produced by the team. This stage of the process ensures that the car acts as it should do based on virtual simulations, allowing us to re-evaluate parts of the car that may not be effective or flaws in manufacturing that have created problems for the car. Assuming the car has been successful in the testing phase, computer-aided manufacturing (CAD) techniques are used to create the car accurately and efficiently (compared to manual production). LunAR intends to incorporate the use of a 4-Axis CNC Router, CNC Lathe, and a 3D Extrusion-based PLA Filament Printer to produce the majority of the components ourselves. The body of the model is made from a solid block of balsa wood with wheels, wings and their respective support structures being added later. Graphics are added after finishing the car (a process which includes sanding, painting and lacquering) using water-based glue sealants/finishes or vinyl decals. Visit the concepts page to see some of our current designs.

Sponsorship and Marketing

Developing the team's identity is crucial for building a good reputation in the world of F1. In addition to just designing and manufacturing the car, teams have to be willing to put in a serious amount of work to ensure they are in a position to secure valued and supportive sponsorship agreements with external companies and individuals to further the efforts of the team, as well as building up support. Financial aid is required to purchase equipment and consumables while a strong knowledge base is also a necessity, allowing the team to make effective design choices and decisions in general throughout the season. Marketing the team is also necessary to gain such support; teams must present themselves as strong competitors to other F1 in Schools teams, alongside demonstrating a professional image and a high standard of engineering. This whole process requires application of the design philosophy to all areas, inlcuding the production of merchandise, standardised letter heads, themed graphics, a website and the final pit display.

Exploration and team development

Compared to some other projects undertaken at The Crypt School, the F1 in Schools project is much more independent and explorative. Driven by the students, it depends on the team's ability to work as a unit successfully, helping developing the team work and leadership skills of all members in order to succeed. All aspects of the project - from the formation of the team to the purchasing of the equipment and finding sponsors - are organised by the students themselves, with little to no project-based input from educational figures. Despite this, the school is incredibly supportive of the project and provides not only a very high quality sponsorship agreement with the team but also some of the resources utilised regularly by the team. However, it is important to stress that LunAR is a student project, and it is driven, run, organised and produced by the students who comprise the team. As a result, an unprecedented amount of experience, knowledge and responsibility is drawn by the students from this project.

The Team

Team Manager / CADCAM Director: Donny Wong

Design (Graphic, Web, Car): William Price

Marketing / Sponsorship: Alexander McIlwraith

Manufacturing / Car Design: Jack Munday 

Resource Management / QC: Ben Attwood 

Finance / Sponsorship: Harry McLaren

 

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