This is where all your work starts off. Start off from the very basics and move on to more difficult things as you go forward. When you've just started designing, it's very difficult to know what's the way ahead. But keep chipping away and things will become clearer. While designing a particular piece of equipment, it's very important to be able to visualise what exactly the component does in the larger scheme of things, how it is linked to other components and how a system works in tandem to accomplish a task. During this phase, read up as much as you can about your system, about engineering design.
Cars are complex machines, but like all things engineering, they ultimately boil down to playing with numbers and dimensions. There are software like CATIA, ANSYS, Solidworks available on the market today, which should simplify the designing process and make manufacturing easier. CATIA and Solidworks are Design softwares while ANSYS can be used for design as well as simulation. Look up FSAE Forums for questions that you might have. In all probability, they've already been answered there. Please note that the Forums are official in nature and use of slangs or demeaning language is not appreciated. In essence, your design phase is a make or break phase. If your design is well thought over, manufacturing and testing become easier and less error prone. Design light and it'll do you a lot of good when you get to driving the car. A few general design tips: Aim for a car that weighs around 200-250 kg. Mount the engine and associate components, the drivers seat, differential as low in the frame as possible to have a lower centre of gravity which aids handling.
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