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Our Frequently Asked Questions list is the best place to start for help.

1. Team registration and logistics

To be registered as a DEVELOPMENT team, do all members need to be in grade nine or under?

YES. To be a DEVELOPMENT team, each and every member of a team must be in year nine or under (otherwise they would be PRO Senior), and each and every member must have never before competed in F1 in Schools Australia (otherwise they would be PRO Junior).

In terms of DEVELOPMENT class registration, what does ‘participation in F1 in Schools’ mean?

In terms of “participation” in F1 in Schools (Rules and Regulations), this refers to those students who have been REGISTERED as a competing team for F1 in Schools Australia.To register as a DEVELOPMENT team, ALL students must fit the DEVELOPMENT criteria, otherwise the team is classed as PRO; that is, if any student has competed before or is in grades 10-12, the team is professional.

Is there a student age limit on the competition?

YES. The competition is open to student teams from Years 5 right through to Year 12.

Can students from ProJUNIOR grades compete in ProSENIOR teams?

YES. ProSENIOR teams can include students from ProJUNIOR grades (5-9), however the team as a whole will be classed as ProSENIOR, and will compete in that category.

2. Rules and regulations

Can DEVELOPMENT class teams design and manufacture special wheel systems, eg. bearings?

NO. DEVELOPMENT teams must adhere to the special rules and regulation addendum (Rules and Regulations). DEVELOPMENT teams must use the REA provided wheel and axle systems. The only exception is the axles, which can be manufactured out of a different material, however must be the same dimensions as the REA provided axles.

If a car is to be machined using a smaller drill bit than the standard 6mm diameter bit, can the car have internal concave radii less than 3.5mm (as specified in the rules)?

YES. This is allowable for CONCAVE edges only. CONVEX edges are regulated as per Regulation 2f (Rules and Regulations), specifically stating that all CONVEX edges that have adjoining surfaces less than 90 degrees, MUST have a radius strictly greater than 1.5mm (there is strictly no tolerance allowance below 1.5mm).

NB: This regulation is classed as ‘critical’ (note that it is in RED). This means if it is not adhered to, the car may:

    • Be classed as unsafe to race, and disqualified (at the discretion of specification judges); and/or
    • Be penalised 2 marks (rather than 1), against the car’s specifications.

Rule 2j: Does the Virtual cargo have to be the exact measurements of 30mm x 50mm x 10mm or can it be a volumetric cargo which has the same volume but different dimensions?

It must be a rectangular prism of solid balsa wood with dimensions of (at least):

    • 30mm along the length of the car;
    • 50mm along the width of the car; and
    • 10mm high.

3. Competitions

Does it cost to enter the regional competition?

YES. All teams must register with REA before competing at their first event, usually a Regional Final. 2011 Team Competition Registration is $165.00 inc GST (once off). See Rules and Regulations.

4. Software usage

How do I create a HIGHER-QUALITY STL file?

The “quality” of an STL is determined by CATIA’s 3D quality performance settings.

    1. In CATIA V5, click Tools > Options
    2. In the left-hand column, inside the “General” node, click “Display”
    3. Click the “Performance” tab
    4. Inside the frame of “3D Accuracy”, select the option of “Fixed”, and change the associated value to about ‘0.05’.
    5. Click “OK” to save the options
    6. Save your part as an STL again, and notice the difference it makes! If you require even more accuracy, you can take the value right down to ‘0.01’, although this will mean you’ll have a higher STL file size! Remember, if your computer starts to ‘slow down’ because of the higher display quality settings, you can change them back to normal after you have saved your STLs. The default values are 3D: ‘0.20’, and 2D, ‘0.02’.

5. Manufacturing cars

How are the cars manufactured?

Once a team has finalised their race car design they can then email their CNC file through to the hub school or manufacturing centre. It is at the hub school / manufacturing centre that the cars are manufactured on a Denford CNC router. The hub school will manufacture 2 identical balsa car bodies (per team) for you and will be sent back to your school for finishing and assembly.

Schools will be charged by the hub school for the consumables used on a cost recovery basis along with any postage costs. These costs are to be negotiated between the hub / manufacturing centre and linked schools.

6. About the F1 in Schools Program

Why would industry want to support the F1 in Schools program?

There is a critical shortage of engineers and skilled people within the manufacturing industry world wide. Industry see the F1 in Schools program as a way of fostering young talent and exposing students to possible careers within the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors.

Which schools are eligible for F1 in Schools?

F1 in Schools is open to all secondary schools from both the public and independent sectors. Schools will need to make links with regional hubs / manufacturing centres to organise for the machining of their cars for the competition. REA is actively working to establish Technology Hubs throughout Australia, and New Zealand.

What does F1 in Schools achieve in the classroom?

Engineering is a vital part of the modern world today and with CAD/CAM, CNC and Virtual Reality Systems being common place in the manufacturing industry, it is important that designers and engineers of the future are familiar with this technology.In the long term it is hoped to address the shortage of engineers. Primarily, the Formula One Technology Challenge provides students with an ideal opportunity to experience the very latest developments in design and manufacturing technologies.

What is a Technology Hub?

A Technology Hub is a network of up to 6 schools, one of which is designated as the hub school. It is the responsibility of the hub school to openly provide the linked schools with access to the manufacturing, test and race technologies. It is at the hub schools where the cars will be manufactured.

How much does it cost to get staff trained in the use of the software?

Usually as part of a sponsored hub project, Schools who have purchased the software will receive free teacher training! Teachers will attend a 4-day professional development CAD/CAM course which will enable teachers to confidently deliver the F1 in Schools project within their schools. The course covers the design and manufacture of a car for the F1 in Schools competition. Schools are encouraged to send 2 staff members and 2 students along to the training course.

7. Software installation/licensing

Where are my licences stored for VIRTUAL WIND TUNNEL, QUICKCAM, VR MILLING located?

The DENFORD Software Register (on the Supportal) tracks your licenses for QuickCAM and VR Milling (

The licenses for VWT are similarly tracked, under the VWT Software Registration database (

You can contribute a question – visit the FAQ page on the REA Supportal – you can always enter as a guest, so you don’t need a log-in.