Optimization of Super-Lightweight Space-Frame Vehicle Structure 2003-01-1709
A formula type racing-car was designed and built for the “Formula SAE” competition. Lightweight design was achieved separately in two areas, i.e. the pipe frames and bulkheads, by employing two different strategies.
In the pipe frame design, the stretch method was used. The baseline design employed the minimum number of pipes required to make the structure statically stable. After this, reinforcements were attached one-by-one, until the rigidity reached a satisfactory level.
In the bulkhead design, weight reduction was achieved using a voxel approach and topology optimization. The bulkhead was divided into finite elements that have the same shape and size. Starting from a solid board, relatively low-stress parts were removed from the model in a step-by-step manner. The weight of the final design is less than 50% of that of the solid board.