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Interested in Indy Car?

John Parry

John Parry

Posted Jan 14, 2010

Me too, though being in the UK I tend to watch more Formula 1. As part of my job I often come across cool pieces of work done by our customers that we can’t publicise for reasons of confidentiality.

This work by Voxdale is an exception though. It was done a couple of years back, not that long after Voxdale was founded, which makes it all the more impressive, and was done for Champ Car, now merged with Indy Car. The project was to optimize the existing Panoz chassis for Conquest Racing’s Champ Car – now unified with Indy Car.

The first hurdle Voxdale encountered was having no CAD files to work from. Their solution was to scan the entire car using a Metris optical laser scanning system to produce a STL point cloud with better than 0.3mm accuracy – reverse engineering at its best!


The point cloud was then read into Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire – after which the rest of the design work and all the analysis are done within Pro/ENGINEER. Interactive Surface Design (ISDX) and Advanced Assembly (AAX) features were used to build the CAD model, and Pro/ENGINEER Mechanica was used for the thermal and structural analysis with FloEFD.Pro Concurrent CFD software used for the aerodynamics.

The beauty of Concurrent CFD is that it works directly within the CAD system so everything is done within the one environment. The CAD geometry does not need to be exported and cleaned up for the analysis, it can be used as is, or simplified using Pro/E’s Publish Geometry feature whilst retaining all the model’s parametric features so design changes are carried out in the CAD tool on the native CAD geometry. Here’s an exploded image of a model Voxdale created.


Additional information is needed for the FloEFD.Pro analysis such as surface roughness information, plus the wheels need to be made to rotate and the ground move. Actually this makes the simulation better than most wind tunnel setups where it’s often impossible to achieve this on a full size car!

Once the model is built in the CAD tool, the opportunities to improve the design through analysis is really only limited by the designer’s imagination – specifically their ability to identify aspects of the design to improve and ask themselves the question “What if…?”, and changing the design accordingly to see how key performance parameters like aerodynamic drag change as a result.

Here are some of the flow trajectories and cut plots showing the flow over the whole car, and showing the air flow into the side pods – something discussed in more detail in my next post.



Next time I’ll drill down into more detail about the analyses Voxdale performed and the design benefits they delivered. If you use Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire you can download a free trial of FloEFD.Pro and try it yourself.

Dr. J, Hampton Court

Images courtesy of Voxdale

Images courtesy of Voxdale

Upfront CFD, CAD Integration, CFD, CAD Embedded, Fluent Design, Design Process

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About John Parry

John ParryI started my career in the consultancy group at CHAM Ltd., using PHOENICS for a variety of CFD applications. From the consultancy group I moved into support, helping customers debug models, and figuring out how to model new applications. That broadened into delivering training courses and creating training material. I was invited to join Flomerics when it started in 1989 to head up Customer Services, and I jumped at the chance to work for a startup. After a few years supporting customers using FloTHERM I moved across into research, developing thermofluid models of common electronic parts, like fans and IC packages, later managing the DELPHI and SEED projects. More recently I worked with Flomerics’ Finance Director on the acquisition of MicReD, helping to integrate MicReD’s business into Flomerics Group which was great fun. Since Flomerics acquired Nika, I’ve been responsible for promoting the FloEFD suite in education, and moved into marketing. I now work as part of the Mechanical Analysis Division’s Corporate Marketing group, responsible for ElectronicsCooling Magazine and the division’s Higher Education Program. Expertise: I’m a chemical engineer by training and did a PhD in reactor design before getting involved with CFD more than 25 years ago. Visit John Parry’s Blog

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Comments 2

Post a Comment
I remember having a scanned 'points-cloud' of 5Gb... After the re-build in ISDX, we had a full parametric assembly file of less than 6Mb, that was meshed in FloEFD at the first attempt!

Koen Beyers -Voxdale
8:51 PM Jan 25, 2010

A 6mb assembly file sounds a lot more tractable and I'm really impressed that from scanned data as a starting point you were able to do everything in Pro/ENGINEER from that point onwards

John Parry
10:16 AM Jan 26, 2010

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