Cutting with water (video!)

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We took a look at the fiberglass layups we did yesterday, and they turned out alright. The larger, 1/8″ thick piece (on the bottom in the photo) fared better, as it was more uniform looking and the epoxy and hardener solution spread evenly throughout the material. The smaller, 1/4″ thick piece (on top in the photo) had a spotted pattern because the epoxy and hardener solution was not spread as evenly, and did not penetrate the Nomex at every point. Next time, we should mix and apply more of the solution, and be more careful when spreading it, when we’re doing layups on thicker pieces of Nomex. Anyways, both pieces are usable, so we began to create the battery box out of them.

To start, we cut the fiberglass pieces into 4 sides, a top, and a bottom. We used the 1/8″ thick piece for the top and sides, and the thicker 1/4″ thick piece for the bottom since it will hold the weight of the batteries. Tabs were cut into the bottom and side panels so they will hold together better when we glue them to each other to form the box. We cut the panels using a water jet cutter in order to ensure that the cuts were accurate, and the tabs on the different panels would line up precisely. It was quite exciting to watch, and the result was great (click through and watch in HD!):

We didn’t glue the panels together yet because they still have to dry from the water jetting. However, we fit them together to see what the box would look like. It would look like this:

Hard to imagine that 416 battery cells will fit in there!

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