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Thread: Introducing multi body dynamics to formula student team

  1. #1

    Introducing multi body dynamics to formula student team

    Hi everyone,

    I am part of the Vehicle Dynamics/Suspension department for our universities' FS team. I was looking into introducing some kind of MBD package to aid in the development and was wondering if there are any obvious winners (been looking at Altair, Adams, CarSim - all with different pros/cons)

    I understand that using MBD we can determine for example different damper or torsion stiffness settings to fulfill the required behavior of the car.

    I heard that something like Altair might be a bit easier (especially considering time constraints) to grasp and get something going with its pre-made library that can be used for FS too.

    During my previous years at uni I have done some MATLAB modelling of quarter cars/half cars, done tyre modelling and fitting, and looked into handling behavior of an FS car, and so I posses a good enough understanding (at least as a starting point) of vehicle dynamics.

    Any useful info from anyone or advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

    And you are?

    Not worth to introduce your self?

    This is not a super market.....
    Claude Rouelle
    OptimumG president
    Vehicle Dynamics & Race Car Engineering
    Training / Consulting / Simulation Software
    FS & FSAE design judge USA / Canada / UK / Germany / Spain / Italy / China / Brazil / Australia

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Brighton, MI

    MultiBody Walking Dead Simulation

    Engineers are known for solving problems, and if they don't have problems, they create them so they can work on them. Employers, however, don't support problem solving tools unless there is an actual problem to be solved that can be addressed by no other tool.

    So, what are the problems you already have that can't be solved any other way ? You want to 'Optimized Dampers', eh? What road profile is the problem. What did you use to acquire the problem road profile ? (for example). If you select a MBS as the tool used by the racing gods and goddesses, what support is in place to acquired all the dimension, ratios, tables and colors required to get it to run ? (Gotta have that Team Skin on the shroud and wings) !)

    Is there a CMM and a K&C machine in place already at your school to prepare the necessary appetite for the MBS you propose ? Is there a database of results from tests you have run on real hardware to validate your models ? (Yes I know, you put a step input in to the steering wheel, it went to the right and achieved a remarkable steady state condition with 21.3141592653 % overshoot in body sideslip angle. But how it it possible for a FSAE car with typical architecture able to have that amount of overshoot ?

    All kidding aside, best use of student grunts is to build foundation tools that advance the ball towards analyzing and then synthesizing the systems, subsystems and part number details of your project.

    Making animations of a car having your school logo on the side making a double lane change doesn't cut it. It's not the best place to start when you have an infinitely stiff upright, wheel bearings that aren't satisfactory for a shopping cart , a steering shaft made from world class pasta and no measurements to support your simulation findings. Pretty sure Roger Penske won't allocate any money for your attempt, either.

    If you are still not with me, pick up a copy of ADAMS are check back in with us in 10 years or so !

  4. #4
    Apologies, not sure where I left my manners...

    My name is Kamil, and I am a Masters student at Hertfordshire Uni (UK).

    I've done work for our FS team since my first year and I worked in various departments including Aero, Vehicle Dynamics, Suspension and Business.

    Team plan for this year is to improve on our mistakes from last year and take it to the next level.

  5. #5
    Thanks Bill, I understand where you're coming from. I was just considering any benefits of utilising these software, if any. As for the data we have a good bit of data from the competition and testing before, but what we also did was some really good 4 post rig testing with Multimatic, and was wondering if that would be of any use and try to incorporate that, as I know that a suspension test rig can be setup in the software too.

  6. #6

    Not meaning to provide a selfless sale plug, but ChassisSim is full MBD Simulation tailored for the motorsport environment,


    Check out the blog and the YouTube channel and if your interested drop me a line.

    All the Best

    Danny Nowlan
    ChassisSim Technologies

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