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CaryKenny January 17, 2011 05:16

CAD models of race car (F1, etc)
Dear all

I have some undergraduate students interested in simulating basic aerodynamics of race car (e.g. F1 car, or its parts: front wing, rear wing or diffusers).

As we need CAD models (geometry) that can be used to develop the mesh for simulations using CFD, I was wondering if anybody had some samples of those parts (CAD models) or links that we could use for this educational training.

Appreciate for your kind help.

julien.decharentenay January 17, 2011 19:01

Hi Cary,

If you are desperate (it is not going to be easy), here is a possible approach to get a model of a F1 car. BUT bare in mind that the models have been created by real people (not the magic people who design design the cars and I am not sure how close to the real ones the models are).

So here is an approach:
- Download Google Sketchup ( - the free version will be fine - assuming that you don't yet have it;
- Open the 3D warehouse model repository (File > 3D Warehouse > Get Model);
- Type in a relevant keyword ("F1");
- Choose the car you want and download the model;
- Clean up the model (if you can);
- Export in STL format using the su2stl plugin (for example) that can be downloaded at
- Import the STL in your favorite mesher/cfd software, et voila.
- And after much hair pulling, head banging and a couple of bright moment you might even get a CFD analysis.

Alternatively, try to contact a few racing car teams and I am sure that after much pushing and pulling you might be able to get some data from one of their old car.

Good luck.

CaryKenny January 18, 2011 02:33

Hi Julien

Thanks so much for your kind reply. I'm trying now your suggestion to get the model from the 3D warehouse model repository in the Google Sketchup.

I'll also try my luck to contact the racing car teams for some old models.

By the way, are you into F1?

julien.decharentenay January 18, 2011 06:42

No, I am not in F1. I am in the building industry.

You could also try with racing teams outside of F1 - they might be more receptive.

I have a colleague into kart racing and believe he has a 3D model available (on which another colleague did some CFD modelling). I can ask him if you are interested.

Sincerely, Julien

RossFS January 18, 2011 08:29

Have you got access to wings or vehicles similar to what you wish to get CAD models for? If so, you might be able to get a laser scan done on a component. No idea on the cost, but the costs of such units are dropping significantly.

Maybe you should get in contact with Simon McBeath that does the "Aerobytes" column in Racecar Engineering as he frequently does analysis work on old F1 cars in the wind tunnel and modern cars in the wind tunnel. Wind tunnel work is not what you are after, but based on the sort of work he does on "out of date" vehicles, I'm certain he would have a contact that might be of help.

You might get some mileage out of getting in touch with the guy doing this highly detailed model of an F1 car in some sort of 3D/CAD software here:

CaryKenny January 20, 2011 04:00

Hi Julien
Yes, we would be grateful if your colleague could give us 1 or 2 3D models of the Kart. We would use those models for CFD training for students attached to our institute. Simple models such as rear wing or front wing will also do.

Here's my add:

best regards

CaryKenny January 20, 2011 04:10

Hi Ross,
thanks for the suggestions and the links. I will also try get in touch with Simon McBeath. I'm grateful for your and Julien's help on this. We hope to start the modelling by the end of this month and now looking for some simple 3D models of race car. My idea is to look into the front wing, rear wing and/or diffusers and analyse the air flow using CFD. This topic is gaining popularity among engineering students here in Singapore due to the F1 nite race.

many thanks again

RossFS February 4, 2011 01:41

Looks like you can buy CAD models of a variety of vehicles here:
Motorcycles are available in another section:

No idea what level of accuracy they get to, but the images look pretty accurate.

f-w February 4, 2011 13:20


Originally Posted by RossFS (Post 293564)
Looks like you can buy CAD models of a variety of vehicles here:
Motorcycles are available in another section:

No idea what level of accuracy they get to, but the images look pretty accurate.

Cool link, RossFS. I am also interested in F1 models, and there's a nice selection on here:

RossFS February 7, 2011 02:42

This data might be of use also, although there isn't much data on open wheelers. There is data on a few road cars in the following link also.

Mulsanne's Corner Race Car Aerodynamics Database which provides drag and downforce figures at different speeds and map average balance figures.

niknasri February 1, 2012 20:27

Hi guys,

I am doing CFD for my final year project, investigating the effect of DRS on a open wheel race car. Just wanted to ask are there any working models available?

I have tried julien.decharentenay's method, it works until u will have problems with the free edges on the model due to google sketchup is not a CAD software, so alot of rework needed to be done. I got to get until meshing the models, but the poor surfaces and quality of the model after repairing it to make the free edges dissapear will then cause problems when meshing the model, even with 1mm of meshing size.

I have also tried surface wrapper function but it idi not work as expected. Any tips n tricks on this? or suggestion on where to get a model also will help me even better.


p/s: i am using star ccm

julien.decharentenay February 2, 2012 07:20

Hi Nik,

Thanks for trying the method I proposed. In my opinion Google SketchUp is a good enough CAD software - but it is not a solid modelling package. If only star-ccm+ could understand free edges...

Tip 1: you might be able to try star-CD. I think that it understands free edges;
Tip 2: you should play around more with the star-ccm+ surface wrapper. They are notoriously difficult/sensitive tools. But I am not sure what parameters are available.
Tip 3: Try admesh ( - no warranty as I have not tried it (it's on my to-do list) but if it works it might just give you a closed solid.

Let me/us know if anything works.

niknasri February 2, 2012 16:48

hi julien,

I am now trying to sketch my own model in catia, but it will not have all the details, but i think it is good enough to run a cfd model for undergrad, i guess, hehe.

btw, thanks for the tips. im not so sure about star-cd, will look it up. i have tried tips 2, but it will make my model worst as i cannot subtract the model from my wind tunnel. also i have tried surface wrap the model itself, but I dont know y star only recognise the body n not the small details (ex suspension links etc). I have tried playing with the meshing sizes but it failed.

I have also tried repairing the surface. and after 4 hours, it now have no free edges but still could not surface wrap n subtracting it from a wind tunnel model.

I will give a try on ur 3rd tips. will update u later about it. anyway, thanks again, really appreciate ur reply :D. Cheers!

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