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UW Platteville Baja SAE Team

University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team logo

Saving money by designing custom parts.

The Baja SAE Competition is for engineering students from universities worldwide who are asked to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain sporting vehicle prototype. The ATV needs to be a reliable, maintainable, ergonomic, and economical production vehicle that serves a recreational user market. The students must function as a team to design, engineer, build, test, promote, and compete within the limits of the rules. The annual international competition happens in June.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville SAE Baja team creates and builds a new 4 x 4 buggie with a ten-horsepower Briggs and Stratton Engine for the yearly competition. Throughout the summer and school year, the team members get together before the competition, designing parts to optimize the vehicle’s performance. Captains Sierra Schellpfeffer and Devynn Schneiter, Mechanical Engineering Students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, lead the 2022 team.

University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team


Design, build and race off-road 4×4 vehicles while improving performance and competing with other teams around the world.


  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Functional
  • Color: Red



Key Characteristics:

  • Flame Retardant
  • Heat Resistant
  • High Strength
  • Impact Resistant
  • Rigid
  • UV Stability




  • Laser Sintering
  • Multi Jet Fusion


Dyed Red


Create lightweight parts that fit within the regulations of the competition with 3D printing while saving money by not buying prefabricated parts.

Saving money by designing custom parts.

Sierra Schellpfeffer

Team Captain for University of Wisconsin – Platteville Baja SAE Team


There’s a lot to do when you design a prototype from start to finish. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville (UW-Platteville) SAE Baja team starts the process the summer before the competition. The use of Creo to design, SolidWorks to analyze, Python and MatchCad to calculate proper safety factors, and C++ for data analysis is just the beginning. These tools develop steel chassis and suspension, aluminum for the steering column and supports, high-density foam for seats, tin for the belly pans, and nylon for the dashboard and steering wheel.

While building a working prototype, there’s a lot to consider. One thing working with 3D printing and nylon can afford the team is lightweight, strong parts with design freedoms other forms of manufacturing may not give them. Nylon steering wheels and dashboard printed with Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion fit the team’s critical characteristics of flame retardant, heat resistance, high strength, impact resistance, rigid, and UV stability. Midwest Prototyping could also dye the parts the same red color the team specified.

University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team shocks

2022 Shocks with 3D printed cuffs.

Credit  |  Sierra Schellpfeffer

“Our previous 3D printed steering wheels were of excellent quality! We love working with Midwest Prototyping because we know the quality of their work.”

Creating and 3D printing the parts adds to the team’s design experience and saves an average of $400, which would otherwise be spent on prefabricated components. 3D printing also gives them the design freedom to make modifications on other parts of the car and not have to design around a part giving the prototype an advantage.

When the team has finished with the build, they will perform rigorous testing before the competition, together with more data for the presentations and promotion of the prototype. If things go as planned, they’ll have an excellent showing at the International SAE Baja competition this June.


University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team parts

Unboxing parts for the 2022 ATV

Credit  |  Sierra Schellpfeffer

University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team
University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team utv
University of Wisconsin - Platteville SAE Baja Team

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