Autodesk has named Australia-based racing team, Kelly Racing as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for October 2011 for its innovative use of software from Autodesk to precisely design and validate new car components that give the team a racing edge - all without hitting the track for physical testing.
Given that the period between races is often a window of less than three weeks, Autodesk Inventor Professional, Autodesk Simulation CFD, Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics and Autodesk Vault Professional software are crucial to enabling Kelly Racing to turn around new components in a timely manner and secure wins in half the time of most racing teams.
Following a race weekend, the drivers brief Kelly Racing’s in-house design and engineering team on what precisely went right and wrong during the race. The designers then set to work with Inventor Professional software to make modifications to the existing car parts that can enhance performance and save the team time. For example, improvements to the front end of the car, in particular the suspension assembly, has increased traction and grip by 8 percent, leading to faster lap times or shaving 1 percent of total car weight through design and material optimization. Even the most minor modifications play a vital role in a sport where a fraction of a second can be the difference between first and twenty-first place.
Engineers then test revised designs with Autodesk Simulation CFD to optimize aerodynamic performance and ensure the components are able to perform at speeds of up to 300 kilometers (188 miles) per hour. Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics software is also used to predict and validate the mechanical performance of the new components.