roller coasters and computers

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:44 PM
I am currently writing a research paper on the history of roller coasters. I was wondering if anyone knew when computers first came into play with roller coaster designing.

Thank You

***Also as long as I'm asking questions here....Does anyone know how much The Bat at PKI cost to build?***

Thanks Again! *** Edited 4/1/2004 4:52:16 AM UTC by coasteraddict***

Thursday, April 1, 2004 11:26 AM
I would guess when computer aided drafting became popular, coaster companies started using these programs to model coasters. CADAM came out in about the mid 70's. It was developed by Lockheed Martin and was outshined by the more popular Autocad which was introduced in 1981. So to answer your question, I would say late 70's to early 80's.
Thursday, April 1, 2004 11:31 AM
If you're writing a research paper, you're going to need to back up your facts with attributed facts and quotes from books. I don't think anonymous people on a fan site is going to do it for your teacher.
Thursday, April 1, 2004 11:35 AM
Oh come on, Den. There are plenty of folks on here who have concrete facts.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure John Miller first used CAD software to design Kennywood's Racer.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 11:43 AM
Actually, Vater, CAD software was used much earlier than that. It's a known fact that Leap The Dips was the first coaster designed with CAD software.


Thursday, April 1, 2004 11:54 AM
The office of Werner Stengel started to calculate the dynamics of coasters in the mid seventies, using two units of a calculator called "Compucorp 325 Scientist".
In 1979 they received a monstrous machine by "Digital Equipment Corporation". It was powered by a 3,5 kW motor and had a whopping 67 MB hard-disk. That thing was so big, that they had to clean out the kitchen to fit it in the office. The calculation for a midsized coaster took about 150 hours (today it would be done in about 5 minutes).

Note that these machines did just simple calculations to save time. It was no CAD!

The first coaster with three dimensional "spline" curves was designed in 84/85. This could be considered the first coaster which was actually build using CAD. The calculations for the complicated turns and drops could not have been done without computerized help.
Oh, that coaster is "Z-Force/Shockwave"! ;-)

Sources: "Roller Coaster - Der Achterbahn Designer Werner Stengel" by Klaus Sch├╝tzmannsky, 2001 Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

Try to contact the Stengel website, if you come up with a reasonable question, they might give you some valuable information.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 12:15 PM

Vater said:Oh come on, Den. There are plenty of folks on here who have concrete facts.

Maybe, but if you're writing a research paper, you can't use "CPRules1843212" as a source. You've got to use facts and attribute them to the author.

Unless, of course, this kid is in the fourth grade or something, and then his teacher probably won't care.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 12:30 PM
Yeah, but wasn't CPRules1843212 the author of Roller Coasters: The First Time CAD Software Was Used To Design Them (And Other Enthusiast Message Board Trivia)?

Oh, nevermind...that was coasterdude528910578907.

*** Edited 4/1/2004 5:31:59 PM UTC by Vater*** *** Edited 4/1/2004 5:32:31 PM UTC by Vater***

Thursday, April 1, 2004 12:31 PM
Den - I think Vater was being sarcastic.
Thursday, April 1, 2004 12:34 PM
Vater - you're killing me dude! :)

I think I need that book from coasterdude528910578907, it'd be some useful info for my site...

Thursday, April 1, 2004 12:38 PM
Oh, sorry if that was sarcasm.

/turns sarcasm detector back to "on"

Thursday, April 1, 2004 1:20 PM
No prob, Den. I probably should've thrown a smiley in there, but I prefer to be ambiguous with my sarcasm. ;)

See? That wasn't a sarcastic comment at all, yet I threw you off by adding the winkety-wink smiley dude. I'm just crazy like that.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 1:44 PM

[Drum beat] Vater will be here all week Ladies and Germs!

*** Edited 4/1/2004 6:48:31 PM UTC by Antuan***

Thursday, April 1, 2004 3:42 PM
I quoted "How to stalk and eat pancakes at the same time" by CPNUT in my last paper no problem.
Friday, April 2, 2004 1:35 PM
You need to penetrate to the original print sources. That's the only documentation a reputable teacher will accept. For this question, that means you're going to have to locate the nearest university engineering library and spend an evening there. Go to the journals. You need mechanical engineering indices. Go back to the eighties. Look up CADCAM roller coaster design or CADCAM amusement park design. Then go to the journals, read the articles, and photocopy them.
Saturday, April 3, 2004 5:16 PM
Thank you everyone! For the record, I'm a senior in highschool doing a 25 page paper on the history of roller coasters. I just wanted some direction on how and when computers came into the whole roller coaster scene.

Thanks again

Dave *** Edited 4/3/2004 10:16:31 PM UTC by coasteraddict***


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