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Week 9: Good communication

This week was a little slow after our presentations but the main outcome was good communication between the teams. As of now everyone has a clear idea of where this project is going and knows who to talk to on what team. Our team is continuing to improve the designs outlined on last week's post in the Gannt chart. At this rate, we should have final products completed within the month. We also started looking into rapid prototyping, although we don't think we will necessarily go for 3D printing yet as it can be time consuming to wait for the parts to be printed.

Week 8: Presentation

This week the team presented current work in progress. Switching system, track design, L beams were some of the topics of interest. We were also able to organize the work clearer to have a more efficient semester. See below:

Week 7: CAD Model of Track Layout

The team is working to create a CAD replica of the exact track layout we are planning to build. By doing so we will have a representation to be able to show the team to have some information to work off of. We will also be doing some FEA testing and some motion analysis to get more accurate specifications to give to the bogie and solar teams. We hope to have the design done by the end of the week to be available to present on Presentation 2. Unfortunately because of NDA the design can not be posted on this page.

Week 5 & 6

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Week 4 and 5 have been on presentations of the specific groups in the Spartan Superway project. Today, we signed an NDA with Futran to obtain their drawings for their project in South Africa. We will be using these drawings to understand the parts coming in and the overall construction of the railways.  For now, the focus will be on the guideways, vertical supports, and the footings of our track.


So far, this will be a rough idea on how the footings will look, which can be seen below. The vertical columns will be fitted in place of these footings. Other designs have been looked into, and we may modify this as we move along with the project.

For the railways, we are hoping to get them verified on which drawings we will actually be using so that we can modify and improve on the structural integrity of the tracks, along with adding a third rail and switching mechanism. However, the drawings we received were outdated, so we will have to see next week whether or not there will be more drawin…

Week 4

Today we presented the Full-Scale Track presentation.



Some suggestions made by Ron Swenson for our track structure was to integrate infrastructure such as water pipes, power cables, and other cables alongside the vertical supports of the track. We will also need to add trussing or diagonal bracing along these vertical supports to provide more strength and rigidity to the system. The final thing discussed dealt with plasma cutting our materials in order to prevent compromising the material properties and structural integrity of our materials, which can occur during welding and heating. With all these tasks on hand, the simpler solution is also the better solution. All these problems will need to be addressed, but we will also need to take into account of making this system easy to assemble, disassemble, and maintain.

Week 2 & 3

This week we presented our team's objectives and specifications to other groups. Our goal is to create the full scale track switch and rails, along with column footings.

Week 1

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Dr. Furman discussed with us the aspects we needed to incorporate into the design of the full-scale track. The columns we will be using for the structure of this track will be using the steel beams provided to us from Africa. One of our main concerns is to fabricate a clamp system that will be able to connect at least three of these beams together without the use of drilling or welding.

The main concern for this project is to create the railway system and this steel column section that will be able to support the weight of at least 2000 lbs. While this track system would need to support the static 2000 lbs load, it will also have to account for vibrations and other weather and various conditions. Of course all this would have to be cost effective as well as visually appealing.