The testing and refinement of our design was a huge part of our overall design process. Here is a summary of our testing processes:
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Testing
One of the major testing methods of our design was CFD, which simulates the airflow going around the car, to optimise the shape of the car. For this, we used SimScale, an excellent, powerful, easy to use, and cloud-based simulation program. CFD was a very important part of the analysis and testing phase of our design process. Without utilising CFD techniques and the SimScale software, we would not have been able to advance our design as much as we have.
At every part of the design and manufacturing process, we were continuously referring back to the regulations and requirements to ensure the car would be compliant (with the exception of the design decision to not comply with T4.3, see Design). This was a key part of our design process; we had to make several major changes to the design early on because we wanted to ensure compliance with the regulations. We used CAD and our manufacturing calibration tools, that we manufactured using 3D printing technology, to do this.
Early in the project, we decided to manufacture a test car so we could perform the most thorough testing possible without actually stressing the final manufactured car. We believe this is an essential part of the testing and manufacturing process.
Our test car allowed us to perform various physical tests on the car, and then flow the output of those tests back into our refined design. These tests included testing the properties of balsa wood in the context of our car, to test various manufacturing techniques, and to gain insight on how the standard components (wheels, grommets, etc, supplied by F1 in Schools) worked with the car.