Wednesday, December 11, 2013

VDSKart: TIG Welding Aluminum Frame

I've been meaning to build an electric vehicle a bit more exciting than my Electric Orbit Wheels. And by a bit more exciting, I mean ridiculous acceleration, drifting, and driving around MIT campus at odd hours of the night. It's about time I built something that I could bring along and race Ben's trike in the Stata basement. I've accumulated a few very nice parts from the recently deceased club in N51, Vehicle Design Summit (VDS). Most of this kart will be assembled from parts I scrounged from VDS: hence the name VDSKart.

Due to the ridiculous size of the solar car axial flux motor that Ben generously donated, this vehicle is going to be a full sized racing go-kart, a slight deviation from MITER's smaller electric vehicles. It's probably going to weigh upwards of 150 lbs and won't fit through doorways, but it will go really really fast and accelerate like a sports car. I'm using aluminum round tubing for the frame to decrease weight, to learn how to weld aluminum, and because it's available.

After looking at many different designs for racing go-karts, I came up with this frame.

More on practice welds and crufted parts after the break.