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Mike Burrows, Glen Thompson, Barney Townsend

AULON93144: Aim93: Designing the Fastest Bicycle in the World, Enabled by Autodesk Generative Design and CFD

(Duration 57:44)

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The presentation will open with veteran cycle designer Mike Burrows, who will introduce the design strategy behind his initial frame design for the vehicle. He will describe the proof-of-principle model created to road test rolling resistance, wheel size and tyre selection. From that data, he designed and fabricated a carbon frame through a craft, analogue process, building on his considerable experience but without the use of any digital design aids. The courses were modelled mathematically in respect to the drag induced by the terrain. By the end of 2017 an initial prototype vehicle was ready for track testing and evaluation. This prototype will be used for UK speed and hour records in early 2018. Following Mike's introduction, Glen Thompson of London South Bank University will describe the aerodynamic considerations. Concurrently to the frame design, he was developing the external faring for the vehicle around datum points from Mike?s design. Approximately 30 iterations of form were generated over a period of 2 years, slowed by the requirement to solve models locally. The drag coefficients of early designs were benchmarked against models of the existing world record holder, Varna, and subsequently refined to absolute values with a goal to minimise the size of the transition zone to reduce drag. The second half of the presentation will be made by Barney Townsend of London South Bank University, and will focus on Autodesk's contribution to the project: the use of generative design and cloud computing to develop the next generation HPV design for the world speed record. Autodesk CFD will be used to validate existing results, and employ cloud computing to massively accelerate design improvements on the faring. This second-generation, hopefully world-record-breaking, vehicle will be manufactured in June with help from the Autodesk Advanced Manufacturing facility. At time of writing this abstract, the existing frame has been 3d scanned and imported to Fusion ready for subsequent rebuilding of the model for use with Generative Design. The presentation will conclude with the latest road test results and designs, and future plans for the record attempt at Battle Mountain, Nevada in September 2018. It will also summarise plans for a future spinout of the project as an HPV design project for STEM education in schools.

Target Audience

Target Audience

CAD Manager, Education Professional / Administrator, Industrial Designer, Mechanical Engineer, Product Engineer, Student, Teacher / Professor



Mike Burrows

Mike Burrows needs no introduction to anyone interested in competitive cycling or bicycle design. Designer, Engineer, Competitor, and Author; Mike was the brain behind the gold-medal winning time trial bike manufactured by Lotus for Chris Boardman at the 1992 Olympics, and he has subsequently worked for Giant, produced the Windcheetah or 'Speedy' recumbent trike, and is a founder member of the British Human Power Club. His publications include the book, Bicycle Design: The Search for the Perfect Machine. Mike's wealth of experience has driven the concept behind the Aim93 frame design.

Barney Townsend

Barney Townsend is course director for the BSc (Hons) Engineering Product Design course at London South Bank University (LSBU). He has an undergraduate degree in Engineering Design and a master?s degree in Enterprise. He teaches modules across the Design and Engineering courses at LSBU, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, specialising in design methods and practices that include creativity techniques, user research methods, innovation, CAD, model making, and prototyping (both digital and physical). Barney has been teaching CAD for over 10 years including AutoCAD, Inventor, Alias, Solid Edge, Ansys, and more recently Fusion. LSBU are an Autodesk Lighthouse Account, for which Barney is the lead academic contact for the University. LSBU is working with Autodesk on various projects, including design for the Shell Eco-Marathon and Formula Student vehicles, and a Human Powered Vehicle attempting to break the Human Powered land speed record of 89.5 mph in September 2018.



  • 2018
  • AULON93144
  • AU London


  • Automotive & Other Transportation, Consumer Products


  • Automotive and Industrial Design, Generative Design, Industrial Design, Product Design, Transportation