Case Study with SPU Falcon Racing

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Puget Systems & Falcon Racing Baja SAE Computing Solution at Seattle Pacific University

About SPU Falcon Racing Baja SAE:

SPU Falcon Racing Baja SAE® is a collegiate engineering design group for undergraduate students located at Seattle Pacific University in Queen Anne, WA. The team is competing to have its Baja SAE® vehicle design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. The students must function as a team to design, engineer, build, test, promote and compete with a vehicle within the limits of the rules. They must also generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.

Overview of Project:

Baja SAE® is a student competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

A single seat off-road car is built from the ground up to compete against up to 200 collegiate engineering teams from around the world every year. Every team is limited to a stock 10hp engine so the engineering and design of the car is paramount. The competition requires students to balance design and cost with dynamic performance while following a strict set of safety guidelines and standardized rules.

There are three North American competitions annually, and next year they will attend the West competition which includes a sales and cost presentation for the static events, as well as suspension, maneuverability, acceleration, hill climb, and endurance dynamic events. Each competition is four days long, with the first two days dedicated to static events and the last two days for dynamic events.


Some challenges that the SPU Falcon Racing Baja SAE® team needed to overcome included:

  • Finding a machine capable of running 2016 SOLIDWORKS Premium Edition CAD software which can manipulate large assembly files while operating at a high frame rate.
  • Finding a machine capable of running complex finite element models in ANSYS.
  • Finding a machine capable of creating quick turnaround renders of large assembly files.

Puget Systems Solutions:

In order to meet all of the requirements for this project, Puget Systems sponsored the following system for the team:

Puget Systems Obsidian

In order to provide optimal performance for both SOLIDWORKS and FEA simulations in ANSYS, SPU Falcon Racing Baja SAE® used a system from the Puget Systems Obsidian line of PCs.

They were able to use a high-end Intel Xeon E3-1276 V3 Quad Core CPU, great for the highly parallel FEA simulations, that also operates at 3.6GHz, ideal for CAD in SOLIDWORKS, with a PNY Quadro K2200 PCI-E 4GB video card.

Finally, a blazing fast Intel 750 400GB PCI-E SSD was added to the system for incredibly quick boot times and file access.

Why SPU Falcon Racing chose Puget Systems:

  • Puget Systems has excellent customer service.
  • The commitment to low noise PCs was a significant advantage for the small CAD lab the students have to work in.
  • Puget Systems' commitment to using thermal imaging of every system to maximize performance and reliability inspires confidence in the PC’s being offered on the website.
  • The ability to follow the order in real-time and watch them build and test it step by step inspires confidence that Puget Systems takes great pride in their work and they have incredible attention to every detail of the process.