06 February 2013

KawaiiKart: Mechanical Assembly DONE!

Alright. This is the third-to-last post that ends the KawaiiKart saga! I am extremely naive, at least considering my current trajectory. Actually the aforementioned claim seems fine, since all I have left is getting the EV section to run, then the gas engine to run, and finally coordinating the two!! I will detail the assembly of most of the kart, from most of the steering assembly to mounting the engine.

MLK weekend

Remember from last time that I messed up the steering knuckles? I got a chance to re-waterjet my parts (on campus! no week-long delays!) with a nice Omax waterjet. Unfortunately, there were no 0.25" thick aluminum sheets that were large enough, so I was going to make twice the number of parts on a 0.125" thick sheet.

It's a $400,000 printer that takes sheets of aluminum!

At first I waterjetted on quality 4 (second best), but the waterjet's software said that it would take an hour as well as 50lb of abrasive. I decided to let it run for a while, but I realized that my routing did not include small tabs on the parts (to prevent the parts from falling into the waterjet tub), which the second part did. At this point, I stopped the waterjet, added tabs to my parts, and reran at quality 3. The run time and abrasive consumption were much more reasonable, clocking in at 14 minutes total and 7 lb of sand.

The new knuckles turned out to be perfect. At this point, I was supposed to have a rolling frame, but by virtue of sloppiness, I forgot to order 3/8"-24 nuts, some steering column lock collars, as well as more L joints for the tie-rod steering.

Better waterjetted steering knuckle: the nut fits!! (of course I winged it)

Vise-ing bearings into steering mounts.

The legendary T-nut.

Assembled frame!

My temporary parking space at MITERS.

Charlesg welded my unidirectional flywheel tight.

Testing the fit of the wheel axles.

Taking a break to track ChibiKart in the snow. This is the result.

Mounting the steering knuckles.

An engine and wheels appeared!

Servicing engine mount with a makeshift carjack.

Week before Techfair

This is the week when the EVERYTHING happens. Literally. It's the last week of my externship, Battlecode quals + finalists' dinner + final tournament, and KawaiiKart cram week. Basically all the time after work was dedicated to either writing code for Battlecode or working on the go-kart. During this week, I went from chassis and parts to a mostly working kart. Picture dump below:

Scraping self against a piece of aluminum or Nancy's hexapod.

Using vise as holder to insert one notch into motor mount.

Vising entire motor mount into steering knuckle.

Chibi motors!

Mounting motors onto motor mount.

The bore of the pinion gear is slightly too large, so we'll pad it with Coke can.

Too lazy to file deeper notch in motor shaft.

Adjusting pinion gear on motor shaft.

Motor on wheel!

I fail at ordering parts again.

It's a masterlink!

Cutting fluid does wonders.

The chain is on! Now to tighten it a bit more.

Steering column with tie rods!

The MITERS parking garage.

Side profile.

My hands turn black after a day's worth of hard work.


Motor controller (it's a Kelly controller).

Revised steering column end mount.

That steering wheel was not intended for this vehicle.

Soldering the Hall sensors onto those boards was really annoying!!!

Last but not least

The correct way to listen to K-pop is to turn the bass all the way up, and then knock the treble down a few notches to compensate.

Up next: electronics and a working EV!

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