NextFab Blog

Penn Electric Racing jets ahead with NextFab's waterjet cutting

Posted by John Doyle and Tommy Sutton

Apr 5, 2014 10:33:00 AM


Penn Electric Racing is currently constructing an electric-fuel, formula-style racing vehicle that we will enter into the Formula SAE competition this summer in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After completing the main chassis jigging and welding, we moved our focus to the car’s A-Arm construction. The A-Arms require spherical bearings to be swaged (pressed) into a spherical bearing housing made of 4130 sheet steel. The bearing houses needed to be custom made with a high precision water jet cutter. Penn’s facilities lack water jet capabilities, and thus we sought a company to manufacture these parts.

With our very time limited schedule, we came to NextFab to achieve quality construction of custom parts with a quick turn around time, and NextFab certainly delivered. In fact, NextFab was able to manufacture the complete job hours after arriving at their location, allowing us to walk away with the parts the same day.


Penn’s Electric John Doyle, Tommy Sutton and NextFab’s Alex Numann are watching the Waterjet cutting parts.




FInished waterjet part.

As the welder for the team, it was important to me that the parts be manufactured with accuracy. All of the parts were designed as requested and left little prep-work for me to implement them into the welding jig. I simply wire brushed any rust that developed on the parts and began swaging the spherical bearings into the custom housings. To ensure the A-Arms for the car were welded with the correct dimensions and to avoid warping upon welding, the team created a jig to hold the bearings and their housings. We then MIG welded the bearing housings to .029” Cro-Moly tubes to form the A-Arms. Each of the A-Arms was correctly welded and now fit securely on the chassis. We have much more to add to the car, but are happy to have A-Arms out of the way.



Our experience with NextFab was excellent, and we will certainly return to complete fabrication of other parts for the car in the future.


Free Waterjet Job Estimate


You might also like:

Penn Law’s Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic [Slides]

Topics: waterjet, Penn Electric Racing


About this blog

Welcome to the NextFab Blog, where we discuss the ideas changing the world as we know it. Step inside the revolutionary world of 3D Printing technology, traditional and Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machinery, innovation and imagination.



Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all