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Designing an Efficient Rear Wing for Formula SAE Using Simulation Tools

July 03, 2024
Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson is a skilled SolidWorks Assignment Expert with 7 years of experience. She holds a master's degree from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

In the realm of automotive engineering, aerodynamics stands as a pivotal factor influencing the performance and competitiveness of race cars. Among the critical components that contribute to aerodynamic efficiency, the rear wing plays a significant role. This blog serves as a comprehensive guide for engineering students, detailing the process of designing an efficient rear wing for a Formula SAE car using SolidWorks. It emphasizes the principles, techniques, and considerations applicable to similar assignments and projects. SolidWorks simulation assignment help is crucial for students aiming to master the intricacies of aerodynamic analysis and structural design within a controlled virtual environment.

Aerodynamic efficiency is paramount in enhancing a race car's performance, particularly in competitive environments like Formula SAE. The rear wing's design directly influences downforce, drag, and overall vehicle stability, impacting lap times and maneuverability on the track. Through meticulous application of SolidWorks tools and methodologies, students can simulate real-world conditions, refine designs iteratively, and achieve optimal performance outcomes without the need for costly physical prototypes initially.

Rear Wing Design for Formula SAE

The assignment of designing a rear wing for a Formula SAE car exemplifies the integration of theoretical knowledge with practical application. By leveraging SolidWorks' capabilities, students can initiate the design process with conceptual sketches that translate into detailed 3D models. These models not only adhere to stringent dimensional and material constraints but also undergo rigorous simulation testing using SolidWorks Simulation. This software facilitates comprehensive aerodynamic analysis, allowing students to evaluate lift, drag, and structural integrity under varying operational scenarios.

Furthermore, SolidWorks Simulation empowers students to validate design iterations swiftly, ensuring compliance with specified project requirements such as downforce targets and structural safety margins. This iterative approach fosters continuous improvement and innovation in design, enabling students to refine their solutions iteratively until achieving optimal performance metrics and design robustness.

Understanding the Assignment

Imagine being tasked with developing a new rear wing design for a Formula SAE race car model. The primary objective is to maximize downward force (negative lift) while minimizing incremental drag and weight added to the vehicle. The assignment presents specific functional requirements and constraints that must be met to ensure the wing's performance and structural integrity:

Functional Requirements:

  • Generate a minimum downforce of 250 N in the -z direction under steady-state operating conditions.
  • Restrict drag to a maximum of 75 N in the x direction at the same operating conditions.
  • Ensure the wing's mass does not exceed 2.5 kg.
  • Maintain structural integrity throughout the vehicle's operational regime, including speeds and cornering conditions up to 100 mph, with a safety factor of 2.
  • Limit deflection to no more than 10 mm at any point below 100 mph.


  • Utilize specific materials for manufacturing, including 6061 aluminum, blue construction insulation foam (R-8 insulation value), fiberglass, and epoxy adhesive.
  • Manufacture the wing using an OMAX waterjet machine at a rate of $75/hour.
  • Design the wing as an extrusion of a 2D wing section without taper or dihedral.
  • Ensure compliance with designated dimensional and structural specifications outlined for the wing and its support structure.

Steps to Approach the Design

Begin your design process by immersing yourself in thorough research and analysis of aerodynamic principles applicable to race car rear wings. Understanding how airfoil profiles influence lift, drag, and stability is foundational. SolidWorks' robust simulation capabilities, such as Flow Simulation, provide invaluable tools for analyzing airflow dynamics and predicting performance metrics accurately. Once equipped with theoretical insights, translate your findings into a detailed conceptual sketch using SolidWorks' intuitive Sketch tools. This initial blueprint should meticulously incorporate dimensional constraints and performance criteria outlined in the assignment brief, setting a solid foundation for transitioning into 3D modeling. Utilize SolidWorks' versatile modeling features—Extrude, Loft, and Shell—to meticulously construct and refine the wing's physical geometry, ensuring alignment with aerodynamic efficiency goals and structural integrity requirements.

1. Research and Analysis

Aerodynamic efficiency stands at the forefront of race car design. Begin by conducting thorough research into aerodynamic principles and their application to rear wing design. Understand how different airfoil profiles influence lift and drag characteristics. SolidWorks offers powerful tools such as Flow Simulation, enabling detailed analysis of airflow over the wing to predict performance metrics accurately.

2. Initial Design Phase

Initiate the design process by sketching the fundamental profile of the wing using SolidWorks' Sketch tools. Incorporate precise dimensions and constraints specified in the assignment brief to define critical physical parameters—width, height, and span—essential for achieving optimal aerodynamic and structural performance.

3. Modeling in SolidWorks

Transition seamlessly from conceptual sketching to 3D modeling within the SolidWorks environment. Leverage advanced features such as Extrude, Loft, and Shell to construct the physical geometry of the wing. Ensure the 3D model accurately reflects the intended dimensions and geometric intricacies stipulated in the assignment requirements.

4. Simulation and Validation

Execute a comprehensive simulation study using SolidWorks Simulation to validate the design's functionality and performance under simulated operating conditions:

  • Aerodynamic Performance: Employ Flow Simulation to analyze lift and drag characteristics across varying airflow scenarios, ensuring compliance with specified downforce and drag requirements.
  • Structural Integrity: Conduct rigorous stress analysis to assess the wing's structural robustness. Verify its ability to withstand operational forces and loads with a safety factor of 2, adhering to stringent safety and performance standards.

Interpret simulation results meticulously to facilitate iterative design refinements. Adjust critical parameters, such as airfoil angles and structural reinforcements, to optimize both aerodynamic efficiency and structural integrity, aligning closely with project objectives.

5. Iterative Refinement

Engineering design thrives on iteration. Incorporate feedback garnered from simulation outcomes to refine and enhance the wing's design iteratively. Implement iterative adjustments and modifications within the SolidWorks model, aiming to achieve superior performance metrics while upholding design constraints and operational requirements outlined for the project.

6. Finalization and Documentation

Conclude the design process by finalizing the SolidWorks model upon achieving optimal design configurations and performance parameters validated through simulation. Generate meticulous technical drawings and comprehensive documentation, adhering meticulously to industry-standard protocols and practices. Document the design journey, encompassing detailed insights into simulation methodologies, design rationales, and iterative refinements undertaken throughout the project lifecycle.


Designing an efficient rear wing for a Formula SAE car utilizing SolidWorks necessitates a systematic approach encompassing fundamental principles of aerodynamics, advanced simulation techniques, and iterative design refinement. This comprehensive process not only ensures adherence to specified project requirements but also enhances students' proficiency in practical engineering applications and design methodologies. Solidworks Simulation assignment help plays a crucial role in this process by enabling detailed analysis of aerodynamic performance and structural integrity. Through simulations, students can evaluate multiple design iterations, predict how different configurations affect lift, drag, and structural stress, and ultimately optimize their designs before physical prototyping. This hands-on experience not only deepens their understanding of aerodynamic principles but also prepares them for real-world engineering challenges where precision and efficiency are paramount. By navigating through these stages—from initial research to final documentation—students not only develop technical skills but also cultivate critical thinking and problem-solving abilities essential for success in engineering careers.

H2: Call to Action

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