You get what you pay for…

Cliches can be very annoying and unfortunately they can be very true, such as “you get what you pay for”.  This was reaffirmed to me in two ways this week, on the high end and on the low end!

Camaro Model

First, after much research I figured out that I could import a wide variety of files into Autodesk Flow Design, some of which the previously posted file from would work.  So, I went ahead, sent $90 to some guy in Czechoslovakia and minutes later I had a nicely rendered 1980 Z/28 Camaro!  Shortly after this, I discovered that the software I have, while I can import, I could do little more than delete or scale the items in the model.  With this, I was at least able to delete the wheels and tires.  From there I could tack on bits and pieces.  The modeled components I did are in solid white in the above shot.  Unfortunately the rear spoiler couldn’t be deleted, so I couldn’t model anything like our spoiler…  The front splitter came out looking ok and the wheel flares were close enough I figured for what I was doing.  Side note, a huge thanks to Jennifer O’Brian for lending a hand with some model conversions!

After several go-arounds with Autodesk, I finally had my $35, 1 month subscription to Flow Design and was ready to get started!  After looking at their videos online I thought I’d get something reasonably useful – “order of magnitude” – if you will on changes.

What did I end up with?  Pretty pictures and a low-resolution movie.  The videos do a good job selling the software, but at least at first try, it’s too simplistic for anything except the most rudimentary of analysis.  Drag figures are wonderful, but really in the autocross world, we couldn’t care less about drag and more about downforce, a figure which appears to be absent from all the dialog boxes I found.

I may tinker some more with the software over the winter, but for the most part I’m shelving the project.  Maybe down the road I’ll see if I can get a student or teacher to run some simulations using Simulation CFD since people within the education system get 3 years free.

At the least, I have a pretty 3D model of the Camaro that just maybe I can get molds made for new fender flares from!

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