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3D scan for CFD & Inspection of the UBRacing Formula Student Car

On Tuesday 15th October, the University of Birmingham Formula Student Team, UBRacing visited Central Scanning in Bromsgrove, a leading 3D Printing and Digitalisation company. Central Scanning have partnered with UBRacing this year to deliver cutting edge 3D scans and printing support to the race winning Formula Student team. The 3D scanning technology caught the attention of UBRacing to help support ongoing projects in gearbox and carbon fibre monocoque design as well as refinement to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models.


Team members Matthew Wright (Technical Director), Joe Chamberlain (Head of Aerodynamics), Elizabeth Myers (Vehicle Dynamics Engineer) and Jakub Sekula (Mechanical Designer) arrived in the morning with the team’s latest car – UBR22, along with the 2017/18 carbon fibre and steel hybrid chassis and a variety of smaller components. Within minutes, the experienced engineers at Central Scanning began preparing the equipment.

Facilitating the scan of a full-scale race car is no mean feat. The engineers use a variety of specialised equipment (Artec Leo & Measurement Arm) to capture details of UBR22 and the bare chassis. An informative explanation of each step of the process was given to UBRacing, ranging from surface preparation through to CAD post-processing. Central Scanning were also able to produce models for a 16” Formula Student tyre – a new geometry choice for UBRacing, a driver helmet, custom moulded seat, exhaust and a variety of gears from the Yamaha YZF-R6 gearbox.


The results of the scans were invaluable for car development for several reasons. The chassis, full car and exhaust scans were used to compare the physical parts, which are subject to manufacturing tolerances, with the original CAD models. The results of the comparison have been used to modify the jigs used manufacture the chassis to reduce tolerance stack up. Scans of gearbox components have been reverse engineered to help in the development of a custom gearbox for the teams Yamaha YZF-R6 engine. Finally, the scans of the driver helmet and 16” Hoosier tyre have allowed UBRacing to produce achieve more accurate CFD simulations for aerodynamic development.

3D scanning is an exciting and rapidly developing industry which makes it fascinating to work with a leader in the market. UBRacing are very thankful to the team at Central Scanning for their ongoing support which will hopefully enable the 2019/20 race car, set to compete at Silverstone in July 2020, to be the team’s most successful yet.

 

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