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Engineering, Analysis and Design

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Air Flow Painting from Ferrari

Recently, Ferrari has shared very interesting news for Ferrari collectors, a project named Air Painting that brings together wind tunnel models, airflows represented by CFD and hand brushstrokes of a painter. This is absolutely unique and very exciting not only for Ferrari collectors also for those who are a huge fan of aerodynamic visualizations.

What is Air Painting?

Luca Zanetti, Head of Global Sales explains that ‘It all began four years ago with a drawing, a simple visualisation of an airflow in the wind tunnel around a car bodywork, generated by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software. It was fascinating, the visualisation of speed: we asked if it were possible to give it a shape, to create a physical representation of the air that flows along the surfaces of the car.’

The answer comes in seven models of a Ferrari 488 Pista, exact reproductions of the full-scale cars used in aerodynamic wind tunnel tests. As the Speedform name suggests, the project gives a form to speed itself.

‘When we are inside the wind tunnel we are able to measure the effect of the movement of the car in the air, thanks to dozens of sensors positioned inside the model and upon its surface,’ explains Biancalana. By using CFD software these airflows can be visualised, which is fundamental for the aerodynamic technicians to understand and to control the factors which generate the aerodynamic forces.

‘Lines and colours of differing intensities show the behaviour of the speed, and of the air pressure upon the model. The technicians are able to choose which of these parameters to visualise,’ says Cattabriga. ‘The possible aerodynamic representations are extremely varied, with dozens of nuances. It was not simple to choose which to utilise for this project.’

Velocity Field Visualised with Line Integral Convolution: a stunning mathematical representation on the 488 Pista’s surface of the velocity vector field in proximity to the body Photo credit: Pelle Bergström

‘When we are inside the wind tunnel we are able to measure the effect of the movement of the car in the air, thanks to dozens of sensors positioned inside the model and upon its surface,’ explains Biancalana. By using CFD software these airflows can be visualised, which is fundamental for the aerodynamic technicians to understand and to control the factors which generate the aerodynamic forces.

‘Lines and colours of differing intensities show the behaviour of the speed, and of the air pressure upon the model. The technicians are able to choose which of these parameters to visualise,’ says Cattabriga. ‘The possible aerodynamic representations are extremely varied, with dozens of nuances. It was not simple to choose which to utilise for this project.’

Transferring the vectorial quantities from the digital space to the models was done by hand-held paintbrush. The spirit of Ferrari is very much evident in all this: using advanced technology to create something, but relying upon an expert hand to complete the work and to render it unique. ‘The coloured lines along the models are one hundred per cent generated by the CFD,’ confirms Zanetti. ‘The painters paint them one by one with a millimetric precision, affording the models another material dimension.’

The design and the processes underpinning the Speedform have been patented by Ferrari, in order to protect this means of using shape and colour to represent a decisive moment in the birth of each new model. A moment in which the design of the car becomes evaluated by its most severe critic, the wind.

The Speedform models are quite imposing, almost two metres in length, all with a significant dynamic strength from the colour scale and the fluidity of the lines. They are built in carbon using rapid prototyping around an aluminium structure to recreate perfectly the shape of the car, to a scale of forty or fifty per cent. There are five CDF visualisations, each realised in eight, numbered, pieces.

This innovative project is aimed exclusively at Ferrari clients who desire to have objects in their collections that come with individual certification and which are part of an extremely limited series. Speedforms are truly a unique gift: not only are they an aesthetically attractive object, but also real, tangible, and accurate examples of the technological processes that lead to the creation of a Ferrari road car.

To the never-ending story of the legend of the automobile, Ferrari has added a new chapter.


Source: https://magazine.ferrari.com/en/passion/2021/01/20/news/air-painting-speedform-models-93680/

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