Specialist car company Westfield Sportscars has chosen SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software to help them integrate 21st century automotive technology into their 50-year-old body design while meeting European Union safety regulations and its own quality standards. Westfield used SOLIDWORKS software to develop its recently unveiled Westfield Sport Turbo two-seat roadster. SOLIDWORKS’ short learning curve and deep functionality helped Westfield’s design engineers adapt stock steering systems and power trains to fit in a chassis that first appeared in the 1950s, long before engineers had to worry about 21st century concerns such as air bags, emission control systems, and export regulations.
“Our challenge was to take a 50-year-old car and make it as modern as possible within the constraints of an older chassis design and the various regulations we had to meet. We used SOLIDWORKS for most of the design engineering work,” said Westfield Design Manager Ross Dickson. “We re-created the chassis design in SOLIDWORKS, then used it to try and modify a variety of parts and assemblies from other manufacturers. The results make us believe that in design, we’re a step ahead of similar cars on the market.”
Westfield engineers used SOLIDWORKS to combine customised and standard components in the Sport Turbo’s design. The interior of the car includes customised components, such as the dashboard and seats, along with industry standard parts and assemblies. The engine, instrumentation, and steering column are from Vauxhall Motors. Using 3D models of the parts, Westfield engineers can modify them to work in a smaller chassis than they were designed for. SOLIDWORKS also helps Westfield adapt its designs to meet European Union regulations for selling on the continent that touch on everything from interior and exterior design to visibility, safety, and emissions.
“The Sport Turbo is designed for car enthusiasts who expect top quality and high performance, so it has to “be more than a museum piece,” Dickson said. “Our buyers expect the latest engines and electronics, whether they’re buying a Westfield fully assembled from the factory or as a kit to build themselves. It has to be a careful combination of the old and the new.”
“We chose SOLIDWORKS because it is one package that can perform many tasks,” said Westfield Managing Director Julian Turner. “We tried other products, but SOLIDWORKS was the best of all the products. Factoring in its training and technical support, we feel that SOLIDWORKS is a long-term solution for us.” In the future, Turner said the company would like to use SOLIDWORKS technology to support a 3D online-assembly manual for customers who buy their cars as kits, and also to simulate crash conditions.”
SOLIDWORKS software is used throughout the automotive industry, from small parts suppliers up to companies like Westfield that design and manufacture their own vehicles.
“Our software’s versatility gives it a wide range of roles in automotive design,” said SOLIDWORKS European Marketing Manager Simon Booker. “Westfield Sportscars is showing how they all come together to perform a complicated task.”
Westfield relies on the expertise of SOLIDWORKS reseller Innova Systems, who have given guidance for the implementation, training and exceptional technical support to ensure that Westfield have maximised their return on investment.