The level of testing needed to bear out these design changes wouldn't have been possible without an integrated CAD and CAE platform, according to Wiersema. "By using the computer to do a lot of the door designs, we were able to filter out the ones that were bad, then take the right one and try it in reality to prove out the concept," he said.
It also enabled the group to explore more design concepts than they had traditionally done when subbing out simulation work to third parties, mostly because they were able to retain their intellectual capital. "When you're working in a single, integrated environment, there's so much knowledge of the tools and the materials behavior that you can actually make something more efficient and have insight into what exactly is happening," Wiersema said.
While integrated simulation isn't necessarily taking time out of Donkervoort's development timeline, it is significantly cutting back on the number of physical prototypes that need to be built, and it is encouraging the engineering team to go further in pushing designs, Wiersema said. "The more time you have, the more you want to develop, and there's no end to how far you can go with the detailed amount of information you can get out of these software analysis tools."
For a look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director Brian Fuller. In the trip, sponsored by Avnet Express, Fuller is taking the fire-engine-red Volt to innovation hubs across America, interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students as he blogs his way across the country.
Even though I'd been reading science fiction since the early 60s at the time I first heard about composites/hybrids, I tended to avoid the hardware-oriented stuff. So if it was mentioned anywhere before the mid-80s, it had passed me by. Interesting to hear from someone who was there at the beginning.
The UARS satelite was designed and build in the 80's. At what was then GE Aerospace, there was a lot of research going on. The spacecraft plant actually made their own composites from raw materials. So, to some extent to call it science fiction is not really far off. It was pretty close.
naperlou, when I answered I was thinking of mil/erospace apps back in the mid-80s, which is when I first heard of the concept of a hybrid that combined plastic and metal in some way. I remember my first response being "Huh? How is that possible?" It sounded like science fiction at the time.
Ann, this is just a guess, but I expect you are correct. When I worked on spacecraft, the carbon fiber tubes were attached to metal components at the junctions. The UARS satelite (the one that just fell to earth recently) was like that.
Actually, this looks a lot like a Lotus 7. If you are not familiar witht that car, it was (is?) a kit car. They are lots of fun to drive and to build. They certianly an acquired taste, thogh.
As for the safety aspect, the Lotus 7 was open with minimal doors. This is much like pre-war (WWII) cars. That is one of the reasons it was a kit car. To pass safety tests that are now required would require much more structure.
@Ann- ....not just carbon fiber, but specifically it said "hybrid carbon-fiber tubular-steel" which I don't clearly understand but would like to.Do you know-? To me, Carbon-Fiber meant polymers while Tubular-Steel meant metal extrusions.A quick Google check did not yield much clarity; I found only one reference from the Oil & Gas Journal (Petroleum Engineering) using the same term applied to drilling apparatus, but no real explanation as what the material actually is.I'd like to know more.
Architect I raise my glass to both this and your preceeding comment. I, personally, find use of Retro Design regressive, especially this one. I have attached links to yester years Cords and Auburns in support of this my point. Both car makers contributed to the Pure AND Tecnnical advancement of Automotive Design and Engineering advances.
I found it humorous when the article talked about the vehicle size and the safety of the passengers. But with those huge open wheel front tires, I'd hate to be a pedestrian with that thing coming at me. Those tires would have an easy time pulling me under the wheels, even at very low speeds. IMO, open wheels like that should only be used on the track and never on the street.
And I thought the Pontiac Aztek was ugly, but this makes it look downright attractive. For some people, "taste" is all in their mouth.
Afficionados of "The Prisoner" will recall that the lead character, Number 6, played by the late Patrick McGoohan, drove a Lotus 7, which had a tendency to overheat in traffic. There was also a great book, about a decade ago, written by a guy inspired by the show to build his own Lotus 7 from scratch. (I think it was available as a kit car.) The book seems to be OP (out of print) though; couldn't find it on Amazon.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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