Baja Racer with muddy helmet

University of Michigan SAE Baja Student Competition Team

Improve body panels and drivetrain guards with increased safety, durability, installation speed, weight, and cost.

My position involved studying, designing, fabricating and testing two complex systems of the vehicle. The body panels, which primarily protect the driver from debris, yet also need to be lightweight and durable. And the CVT guard which encloses the transmission for user safety, must contain parts in the event of a failure, and must also allow heat to escape without allowing particles of water in. Fabrication required the design and fabrication of molds to produce parts for a variety of manufacturing processes including HDPE vacu-forming, carbon fiber molding and 3D printing.

1. Body Panels
a. molds
b. graphics
c. mounting tabs
d. integrated roll bar pads

2. CVT clamshell cover
a. molds
b. louver vent
c. snorkel vent

Sound engineering practices, technical rule compliance, composites research, Solidworks, Catia, CNC machining, mold making, carbon fiber fabrication, vacuforming, welding, multi disciplinary design, 3D printing.

About the Competition
The SAE Baja Competition is organized annually by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for University engineering teams. Every year each team builds an off-road vehicle for a competition with rigorous terrain, a heavy dose of mud, and technical restrictions for engine type, safety and sound engineering principals. The car is built from scratch to compete in as many as three regional Baja competitions per summer, against over 100 collegiate teams from around the world.

Produced by Matt Grandin for the Michigan Baja Racing Team: