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Donkervoort Automobielen BV Improves Design, Cuts Costs With SolidWorks Simulation

Different automotive brands stand for different values, such as efficiency, luxury, speed and performance. Donkervoort Automobielen BV, a Dutch automotive manufacturer, increasingly relies on SolidWorks ® advanced 3D design and simulation tools in its quest to produce the perfect sports car. This value was on display on December 17 when Donkervoort unveiled the newly designed model D8 GTO.

By incorporating SolidWorks Flow Simulation and SolidWorks Simulation Premium to its existing SolidWorks package, Donkervoort created a single CAD environment for the redesign of its D8 GTO model, ensuring total integration of the design and simulation process. Donkervoort focuses on sports cars that are hand built, lightweight, high performance and perform like Formula One racecars, even though they look like classic roadsters.

Redesigning the engine to develop power resulted in added weight in the D8 GTO, causing Donkervoort to rework the body. The company turned to SolidWorks 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and advanced structural simulation solutions to ensure performance while staying on budget and delivering the car on schedule.

Donkervoort tackled several different challenges during the redesign, including optimizing intake manifolds and engine airflow and resolving open-wheel aerodynamic challenges. The company created a hybrid carbon fiber-tubular steel chassis to add strength while minimizing weight that held up to simulated testing for force, stiffness, crash and impact. The design team added wings to the rear fenders to increase down force and traction.

“Donkervoort’s auto redesign shows the type of creativity and problem solving that SolidWorks is designed to empower engineers to achieve,” said Stephen Endersby, product manager, simulation at Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. “By using simulation to solve design challenges, Donkervoort’s design team circumvented costly and time-consuming steps on the path to unveiling the optimal product.”

The results speak for themselves. Using SolidWorks Simulation, Donkervoort was able to cut the number of prototypes required by 50 percent, increase product sophistication, improve aerodynamics and performance and introduce structural innovation in sports car design.

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