Machine Design

Software builds a motorcycle “canopy”


The Roof For Two canopy is currently in beta testing and is expected to go to market in Spring 2013

Motorcycle-accessory company Roof For Two in Boston used 3D design as well as simulation software to design a canopy that mounts on a motorcycle to shield riders from inclement weather. The roof targets motorcycle riders in India, which has the largest percentage of motorcycle riders in the world. Relying on openair transportation in that country is dangerous during monsoon season, when riders risk low visibility and harsh weather conditions during everyday travel. SolidWorks Professional, Simulation, and Flow Simulation from reseller Fisher/Unitech, Troy, Mich., provided the engineering software.

The collapsible, detachable roof was designed to be pulled over a motorcycle in a few seconds. The mount is made of several metals including steel and aluminum. Roof For Two designers used the SolidWorks programs to define the shape of the canopy and prepare it for fabrication.

Says cofounder and head of product development for Roof For Two David Chen, “When taking on a project like this, it’s important to weigh all factors, including airflow. This consideration made SolidWorks Simulation a critical tool for determining how the roof would stand up to wind and rain while remaining safe to use.”

SolidWorks Flow Simulation helped designers determine how air flows around different parts of the canopy to keep the design aerodynamic. SolidWorks Simulation let designers test stresses and the impact of load on the mounts to check if reinforcements were needed. In addition, the design software let engineers visualize the product in 3D, crucial to finetuning the overall concept.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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