Andrew Burks

Archive for August, 2010

Experimental Brake Pedal

by on Aug.08, 2010, under Formula SAE, Pedals


This summer I have had access to the waterjet at NREC where I had my internship.  The current pedal design calls for a series of 2-dimensional parts that I knew I could cut on the waterjet very easily (it can cut through stuff faster than 10 inches/minute, so it’s preferable to a CNC for this application).  Unfortunately I put off cutting these parts until the last week of my internship.  At 10PM on the last Tuesday night of the summer, I realized that I needed to prepare the .dxf files (files that define the shapes of a 2-dimensional part) I would need to cut some parts out after work.

When I went to make the .dxf files, I realized that I could make the entire pedal assembly out of welded steel plates cut from the waterjet.  That night I started making a new version of the pedals (version 9) and had the rough outlines of all of the key parts by the time I went to bed at 3AM.  I also never made the .dxf files I wanted for the next day.

Wednesday night I made the .dxf files I needed for the old pedal design, then spent the rest of the night optimizing the brake pedal assembly for weight.  Here are some renders of the design, as well as some FEA results:

Render - ISO Render - Front Render - Side
Stress Plot
FEA - Stress
Factor of Safety Plot

An Exploded View Animation of the Assembly Process


On Thursday night I stayed after work to cut my parts on the waterjet off-hours.  It took about 5 hours to cut three sets of parts for the old design and two sets of the experimental pedal.  Though the brake pedal hasn’t been welded yet, the tabs were easy to press together to get a good sense of what it will look like in real life.  I was really impressed that I could go from concept to completion in only 48 hours, thanks to SolidWorks, NREC, and the waterjet.  Mike was kind enough to take some glamour shots of the final product:


PIC - Front PIC - Right
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