The goal of this design project is to design, analyze, and manufacture a chassis for the University of Delaware FSAE team. Through extensive. Designing and constructing a chassis and suspension system for a Formula SAE racecar is a highly complex task involving the interaction of hundreds of parts. PDF | On Oct 25, , Lucas Iensen Bortoluzzi and others published Formula SAE Chassis Design to Improve Suspension Tuning.

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Home Forum Automotive Other racing series. We’re hoping to participate in one of the competitions held in the US fingers crossed. I’m currently working on the chassis design and was wondering, what are the major the design criteria that go into designing the chassis fsze from the FSAE regulations of course. Then doing design iterations of course to try and achieve the lowest CG point possible.

Designing an FSAE chassis –

But that’s probably the easier part. The harder part is what concerns me, structural rigidity.

What sorts of loading do I need to apply to the chassis to mimic real track stresses? Would I need more software support than just Solidworks and its simulation packages? Would appreciate any help I could get Regards, Sam. Restraint – Tire contact with ground. Grip is dsae four letter word.

All opinions are my own and not those of current or previous employers.

Designing a chassis Post by marcush. Use this accumulative deflection to see what it does to Your suspension geometry. Adapt as you see fit. You may want to consider whether Your program wants to make it a car building exercise, or an engineering exercise coincidentally designing a car.

There are justifiable arguments for both paths. The reverse can also be successful – design with ultimate reliability as primary and loss of performance as the risk, then reiterate to improve performance using analysis FMEA can be used since extreme lack of performance is a “failure mode” of a race car Most FSAE teams choose the latter but often lack the scientific approach of what to improve.

Tom, quit board posting and go finish Your build blog. It’ll be as much of an exercise in car building as organization building. IMO if a first year car can finish and score in all the events then regardless where you finish its a win in itself. Its so easy, even for an established team, to overthink and take on way too more than it can manage. Personally I think you can do a lot of thinking but without actually put your hands on something you can’t tell where your practical limit is.


Estimate a cornering force, set a target way, FBD your way up from the tires to get the loads, and set a relatively generous safety factor to start so you don’t end up breaking all the time. Use a lot of jigs when you make things so you make them right, and once the car is done drive the crap out of it I think it’ll be impractical unless you really have access to alot of resources and know-how, to design a ultimate performing car as a target.

Its been done more recent years though with the lot of the European schools, but I know at least in the environments I’ve experienced it’s impossible to do First of all decide if you want to build a composite chassis or a steel frame. Composites is quite complex and you will simply shoot yourself in the foot with that as you are bringing an car on track wich you do not fully understand, thus you cannot max the performance of the car.

Keeping your car simple allows you to trace fsad and fix chassls much more easily, you might not go that fast, but you have built up an solid base by then. Yes, we are a rookie team, my school tried building ones in the past but never really worked out, I plan on getting the wheel going with this so fingers crossed.

I’m leaving composites out of the picture for now, I have to work with the steel tubes we have in our lab. And besides, FSAE regulation have quite some restrictions on use of composite materials, so that will have to be kept in mind as well. There’s nothing easier than over-designing the dedign and making it weigh a tonne, but that’s not my goal, not on a race car at least.

That’s why I started this thread. Another thing, do you guys recommend any certain software for chassis design?

Or would your normal FEA software just do?

Design and optimization of a Formula SAE racecar chassis and suspension

Again, I greatly appreciate your posts and help Sam. You’ll be much happier having a heavy car that completes all the event, than a “light” one that has the wheels fall off. Also slightly less embarrassing. But I was hoping for a well engineered chassis since it will be used for the next years to come, a good “base” sort of thing, rather than having it as a first item on next year’s upgrades chaesis. But do not underestimate the task of getting the car done. However, if you don’t get the car done, it would dfsign a fruitless exercise.

And the “law of pi” definitely applies when it comes to building desin car from scratch. In other words, estimate how long it should take to do something, and then multiply that by pi, and you then have a more realistic estimate.


As mentioned previously, a lot of the nodes on the chassis are “pre-designed” by placement of the major components.

Additionally, many of the tube cross-sections are specified in the rules, so there is not a whole lot left for optimization, other than how you “connect the dots. I would come up with a couple chassis concepts with regards to how tubes are routed then determine how much each concept flexes for a given loading scenario. You may even consider simulating the front and rear separately by fixing the main roll hoop.

Once you’ve tested a couple broad concepts you should be able to get an idea for which tubes are efficiently helping the rigidity, and which tubes are just there and can be omitted or dexign smaller.

I would only run a couple iterations once you have determined that everything will fit in the car and all the required templates will pass. At that point, freeze the design and move on. For a first year car, taking 10 pounds out of the chassis is without a doubt not as beneficial as finishing the car a week or two earlier. If you explain to the judges that you’re a first year team, and you’re design is not as refined because of it they won’t frown upon that.

If you can show deesign your design how you’ve erred on the side of reliability without going overboardthey will certainly understand and respond favorably.

The important thing to demonstrate is that you understand the load paths experienced by the car. That is, you understand how the suspension forces are reacted in to the chassis, or how effectively is your differential mounted with respect to handling torque, and especially that you don’t have bolts or rod ends in bending In desig, demonstrate that you understand the very basics of how to put things together.


If you can’t get that stuff right, then no amount of trick engineering with desiign fancy suspension or engine setup is worth anything because the car just falls apart. Unfortunately, and understandably, most students don’t appreciate this fact when they start projects like FSAE. Oh, and having a wheel fly off is not only embarrassing, it can also be dangerous.

We had that happen to our first car during testing for our second car and we were lucky no one got hurt. Ironically, I was probably in the fsaae position because I was strapped in the car You’re right in that a good chassis makes for a good starting point.