The Mygale Ecoboost
is a spec racer for Formula Ford. It's not designed to be quick, but to induct kids into racing. There's minimal downforce, so as we're running the car in an open category, we need to investigate getting more downforce. Rather than just throw some wings at it and hope for the best, we're going to try and be a little educated about the modifications we make. We're going to try some CFD, because, well, why not eh?
The first step in CFD is that you need a model. We tried asking Mygale, but they didn't want to help as the car was a joint project with Ford. We looked for other options. We could ask a company like TotalSim
to help us out and scan the car, but our budget doesn't stretch to that - they want a season's budget to send us back a model. They're not expensive, we're just cheap. The other option was to try some of the cheap scanning hardware available and clean up the mess that results.
We've invested in £35 of Kinect hardware and downloaded KScan3D
to try and scan the car. We towed the car to Ramp It Up
and rented a set of ramps.
With the computer set up, it was time to start scanning the car and after just over 100 scans stitched together, we had something that resembles a model.
We then hoisted the car up on the two post lift and carried out the same process on the other side. The two sides can then be stitched together and holes patched up. Unfortunately, the Kinect isn't really a great 3D scanner, so the model is rough. This means hours of effort smoothing out the model. It also means that the wings are not the right profile, so we'll be modelling them separately from scratch once the rest of the body is complete.
If you have skills in this area (or want to acquire them) and the time to help out, please get in touch as this isn't a short process!
Once the model is done, we'll get a baseline completed using OpenFOAM
to ascertain the aero map as it stands. The first step for improvement is to build a new floor to replace the completely flat unit currently in the car. Alongside this, will be work on managing the flow around the front wheels to enable the floor to work properly. Key to all of these modifications will be ensuring the downforce is as consistent as possible over a wide operating window as the drivers, erm, require a stable platform...