Modern CAx systems (computer-aided technologies) provide the foundation for our frame and product developments. They are used from the original idea and the initial draft, in optimization and strength calculation through to production. In this way errors can be identified and rectified even during the virtual model stage and the entire development process can be accelerated. A further advantage is that the first prototypes exhibit a high level of production maturity.
Computer Aided Design for three-dimensional product modelling
CAD systems enable us to design products on the computer. This process involves creating a virtual, three-dimensional model of the component that contains all geometric and physical properties of the real component, such as weight, volume, etc. and which forms the basis for all subsequent development steps. Thanks to computer-aided design, the models can be adapted to each other and collisions between components can be avoided even during the development stage.
Read more about CAD functioning in our knowledge database.
Computer aided engineering for strength calculations and simulation of physical behaviour
Using CAE systems, we are already able to conduct strength calculations and load simulations on the virtual model. Loading conditions and constraints from measurements of real data are transferred to the product data model. We are able to detect the magnitude and direction of any material stresses (e.g. tension, compression, bending or torsion stresses) occurring in the component under the corresponding loading conditions. The level of stresses acting provides information on the extent to which the material is at full capacity, whether additional material savings are possible or the design of the material has to be changed in order achieve material stress within a permissible range. Only by using such extensive optimization loops is it possible to obtain an intelligent, lightweight design, i.e. an optimum weight in relation to stiffness and durability.
Multibody simulation (MBS) involves simulated sequences of movements
Multibody simulation is a method of numerical simulation and therefore also falls into the category of CAE systems. MBS involves simulated sequences of movements for connected components. We use this procedure for the kinematic design of the rear swing arm. Using our own computing programs, we are able to calculate the velocities, acceleration and the forces acting on the individual elements of the rear suspension. We superimpose the relevant graphs for the rear swing suspension kinematics with the parameters for the air shock absorber so that we can tune the two systems perfectly to each other.
Real data measurement determines the maximum loads
With real data measurement, we determine the maximum loads acting on the bike during operation. In the process, the forces and moments acting on the bicycle are recorded qualitatively and quantitatively during a wide range of riding conditions. Data are recorded by means of strain gauges and acceleration sensors mounted on exposed sites of the bicycle frame. Back in 1998, a first riding trials model was constructed in cooperation with the University of Siegen. In 2002, a second riding trials model followed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability, aimed at verifying and further refining the real data recorded in the first step. In total, we have identified 32 different, relevant measuring points and equipped them with the appropriate sensors. Corresponding constraints for the use of the mountain bike when performing the measuring rides were defined in advance.
More on CAx working methods in our knowledge database.