Rollercoaster Project at Ohio State

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:44 AM
Ive been around these forums for a few years. I used to post a while ago, but recently I became interested again in coasters because of a project i'm working on at Ohio State. In our intro to Engineering class we have to design, and build a model rollercoaster. Even though it uses a ball as a car, it's still a pretty interesting project. One requirement is to create a 3D sketch by hand. Since i've used 3D Studio Max, I decided to take it a step ahead. I just thought you guys would enjoy these pics:

This is my initial design for the coaster. I've calculated the speed and bank angle throughout the entire ride. I'll keep you guys up to date on how it goes during the actual building process!

Monday, January 23, 2006 12:48 PM
Say, that's pretty cool. Just curious, do you calculate the speed and angle for a given interval? If so, what is the interval? 1 cm or something like that?
Monday, January 23, 2006 1:23 PM
Cool; wish I had gotten to do something like than when I went to engineering school.
Monday, January 23, 2006 1:53 PM
We calculate it based on sections. We were provided an Excel spreadsheet with formulas, so we input the heights and length of the sections to figure out friction and velocity. It also includes energy loss by centripital force around the loop and helix.
Monday, January 23, 2006 5:55 PM
That's very impressive! Does/can 3D Studio Max render the ball moving through the course? (English: can you post an animation of it?) Oh, is 3D Studio Max a 3D drawing/rendering program, or is it a full-on drafting program like AutoCAD or SolidEdge?

Also, whats the dimensions on that sucker? What materials are you using? Sorry for the questions, I really like your project - I'm at Lawrence Tech here in Mich. for engineering and my intro to eng. class was a joke in comparison to this.

Monday, January 23, 2006 6:31 PM
3D Studio Max is a rendering program. if you've heard of Badnitrus (called 3DVIP now), or if you've seen a really nice promo animation for a new coaster, it's probably done with 3D Studio Max. I used to model coasters on it a while ago when Badnitrus was still doing free stuff for fun.

As for the project, It's .7ish meters tall, and has to fit on a 5'x6' table. It uses 1/4" tubing for rails, some specialized snap-fits for crossties, and 1/2" PVC for supports. I did an animation of it, but they way you do animation on Max is to keyframe the speeds (Which means you basically...make up the speed, and it isnt exact physics). I have no way to post an animation, but it doesnt looks tthhaaattt cool anyways. it's a fun project, but alot of work.

Monday, January 23, 2006 6:46 PM
That's pretty sweet. Are you doing this in groups or is every student in the class doing one of these? Will there be a presentation class that you could possibly video tape and upload the video?
Monday, January 23, 2006 7:40 PM
It reminds me of the Spacewarp kits that were out many years ago only on a much larger scale! *** Edited 1/24/2006 12:40:33 AM UTC by coasterpunk***
Monday, January 23, 2006 8:20 PM
I was thinking the same thing. Very Spacewarp-esque.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006 3:05 PM
Hey do u think there is anyway you could send me that excel program i would really appreciate it. Thanks. And awsome looking coaster.
Sunday, March 12, 2006 8:05 PM
Alright, i know it's been a while but the quarter is over here at Ohio State, so I thought i'd show you how things turned out!

Here is our final design:

And here are some videos of the design:

In the end it works great! Most of the other teams did well also. *** Edited 3/13/2006 1:16:46 AM UTC by DanLinden***

Sunday, March 12, 2006 9:36 PM
Hey, Im in this class too! It was a very tedious project, but the final project outcome was worth it. Just so everyone knows, this process took about 10 weeks.. *** Edited 3/13/2006 2:37:55 AM UTC by pyrocoasterkid***
Monday, March 13, 2006 1:36 AM
Looks like you all had a blast!

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