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MSC Software helps Formula Students optimise race cars

02 March 2020

More than 380 teams from 36 countries compete in Formula Student, Europe’s most established educational engineering competition which uses motorsport to inspire students.

Each year, teams of engineering students design and develop their own race cars to compete in international competitions. Last year, the University of Hannover, University of Paderborn, and Hochschule Hof’s student teams sought to produce the most optimised design possible, and for that, employed two MSC Software (MSC) tools: Adams, and Apex Generative Design. 

Leading in Formula Student requires components that are as lightweight as possible, with optimal handling and ground clearance. The students decided to use MSC’s products because it would enable them to learn how to produce the best possible design capable of meeting these challenging objectives.

Adams multi body dynamics is used extensively by the automotive industry to study the dynamics of moving parts, and how loads and forces are distributed throughout mechanical systems. By contrast, Apex Generative Design is a new tool that automatically generates stress-optimised design candidates, offering new opportunities to minimise the mass of components with 3D printed topologies. 

The HorsePower Hannover team set out to optimise the suspension of its racing car. Using Adams, they modelled the entire vehicle and analysed the dynamic behaviour of the mechanical system holistically in simulation to make the most of track tests. 

Read the full article in the March issue of DPA.

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