As you all know very well, Formula SAE is an expensive competition. The saying “how do you turn a large fortune into a small one? Go racing” is well founded. Competing in Formula SAE is no different than any other racing series, those with the most to spend usually do the best. Having the funds to purchase the best materials, the latest technology, and to compete in more events is a necessary part of excelling as a team.
There is never enough money, there has never been enough money, and there never will be enough money, such is the nature of competition. But as you can see below, the funding of the team and the results achieved are highly correlated. Despite our best efforts, the team has continued to struggle for funding.
Fortunately for us, we are supported by alumni, parents, team members, sponsors, and friends who are committed to helping this team realize its goals and fulfill its potential. Through your support in 2015 and 2016, the team was able to achieve a fantastic improvement in results, far above what could be expected given the resources available. Without your support we would not have been able to finish endurance for the first time since 2011 or finish 52nd overall at FSAE Michigan. We are forever grateful to you for providing us with that opportunity. The names of all those who have supported us throughout the building of RM21 have been placed on the back of our headrest, as a constant reminder that no matter what challenges we might face, our supporters are always behind us.
No matter the size of the contribution, all are extraordinarily helpful to our team as we build our next car, RM22. Listed below are some of the many items that the team needs to purchase in order to build RM22. Many of these components are critical, and the car cannot be completed without them. Some components below will allow the team to innovate and improve where we would otherwise be restricted due only to budget.
There are ways to support the team besides a monetary donation. Being part of this team forces students to become masters of making use of all the resources available to them, and we will make use of anything you would be so generous to provide. We are always grateful for the advice of those who can offer it, those who have experienced the same struggles we have, and those who have learned lessons we have yet to learn.
For every way you support the team and our endeavors, thank you.
Innovate Lambda LM-2 "BASIC" Kit: 2014 - $349
Last year our Innovate system stopped working. We are currently using a very unreliable system that we do not trust, and a new system is not in our budget.
2012- 2016 CBR600RR Engine
After the switch from the F4i we have only one engine, and we need to purchase a spare for competition.
PE3 ECU - $1075.00
Our spare ECU has completely stopped working and performance electronics charges nearly the same amount to fix as to purchase a new unit.
Wing Cores - $200
For the past few years the team has used expanded polystyrene wing cores to make our wings, and this has worked quite successfully. We’d like to use this method again if we can afford to, and it’s one of the cheapest methods.
Carbon, Resin, and Composites Supplies - Price Varies
Each year composites make up a large portion of our budget, with a set of wings reaching almost $1000 including the foam cores, carbon, layup supplies, and resin. This is a sizeable portion of our budget, and one of the best value for money improvements we can make to the car.
Charger for LiFe battery - $90
We need a charger that can safely charge our new EarthX LiFe battery as the one we currently have is on loan.
Personal Protective Equipment - Prices Vary
Most of the team’s PPE would benefit greatly from a replacement. We need several pairs of ear-muffs, safety glasses, and gloves for welding.
Set(s) of tires - $600 for 4
We currently have the budget for a single set of tires each year, which hinders how much testing we can conduct each year. We also have an improperly sized set of wet tires that we would like to replace with a set of the correct outer diameter, which is even more important this year due to the height sensitivity of the diffuser. Having a new set of tires available for competition last year gave us a significant boost in endurance.
Machinable / Insulation Foam or CNC Routing
This year the team would like to CNC as many of our bodywork molds as possible to cut down on time and materials involved in making our composites molds. Unfortunately we do not have access to enough machines or enough foam to make all of our molds.
Another Battery - $170
After the success of using an EarthX LiFe battery last year we would like to purchase a new one for RM22 so we can keep two on hand in case of failure or low battery when out testing or attending events.
Sound Meter - $75
Our current sound meter has proven to be highly inaccurate, and a new one cannot fit in our current budget.
Digital Calipers - $40
The shop has many cheap pairs of calipers, but with unpredictable variances of up to .025” it can make tolerancing a real problem. We’d like to invest in a few sets of iGaging calipers which are much better than our current sets and are also coolant proof.
Bolts - $250
While we’re utilizing Titanium hardware sponsored by Ti64.com, we still need NAS bolts for all critical suspension connections.
Springs - $200
This year the team is switching over to a two-spring setup on each corner, utilizing a helper spring which compresses under static loading paired with another short spring to give us the suspension travel we need in both directions. H&R generously discounts their springs, and $200 will buy us a set.
New Tires For The Trailer - $90
Data Acquisition Components - Prices Vary
Data collected from RM21 has driven many of the design decisions for RM22, and we’d like to improve our data acquisition capabilities again this year to further our understanding of our car. We are currently in need of 4 new wheel speed sensors, which cost $30 each and a new channel expansion, which costs $190. We need sensors for oil and water pressures and temperatures as well, which could also be used on the engine stand. We would also love to have a 3 axis accelerometer with 3 axes of rotation.
Wiring Labels - $40
Last year an alumni generously donated a label maker that prints onto heat-shrink, but we need the rather expensive heatshrink that goes into it so we can improve our wiring harness.
Steering Wheel - $150
Our current steering wheels are all drilled for shifting pushbuttons from years past, and we’d like to replace it along with the quick release, as all of ours are very worn and have not been replaced in a few years
Cutoffs? Mystery Material? Bought the wrong thing? Just found something? We’re not picky, we’ll take anything and make something out of it.