Design of a concept sportscar and wheelchair for paraplegic drivers using topology optimization

The work explores the theme of the paraplegic driver, which is passionate, active and wants to enjoy his time, no matter what obstacles he encounters in life. This scenario defines a niche in both automotive design and in wheelchair design, and the work tries to find a solution to equalize the gap between the disabled and the able-bodied car enthusiast, by placing the former at the center of the project. The vehicle packaging, the structure and the user experience of the car, and the functionality of the wheelchair are re-thought based on the new needs of the user, without compromising the experience and emotion of driving a sports car. The design methodology is based on structural form optimization, by applying typical sports car load cases to structural components and using traditional metals in combination with advanced composites. The resulting topology is then merged with the initial vision of the concept, and safety, ergonomics and functionality are considered in a holistic approach to the products. Validation analyses are then performed via FEM to comply with data from other similar structures.

The Author

Francesco Di Giuseppe
Industrial Designer, University Of Camerino