Like so many people, Dennis Palatov worked to find a balance between professional responsibilities and his life’s passion. A computer engineer by trade, he founded Palatov Motorsport in 2008 to design high-performance vehicles targeted at recreational trackday use. Four years later, his vision paid off as the company’s D4PPS vehicle beat the odds and finished first in the unlimited class of the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. With help from MCAD Technologies, a SolidWorks® 3D design software reseller, Palatov Motorsport is poised to have an even more successful 2013.
To date, Palatov Motorsport has used SolidWorks to design and manufacture three vehicles from concept to completion; with two more designs nearing their final production stages. Palatov’s D1 model paved the way for the company’s D4PPS (Pikes Peak Special) vehicle, specially designed for the challenges of the “Holy Grail” of hill climb races.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course is 12.42 miles in length with 56 turns, beginning at 9,390 feet and finishing at the 14,110 summit. In five months, Palatov Motorsport’s design grew from an idea to first in class -- vehicle design kicked off in February, moved to fabrication in April, and the D4PPS hit the ignition in June. Despite competition from more experienced, highly-funded teams, the D4PPS emerged victorious in its inaugural run last August, placing first in their class and fifth overall (out of over 160 competitors).
“SolidWorks allows us to leverage part designs across car lines and use parametric features for design reusability,” said Palatov, founder, Palatov Motorsport. “We don't have to design entire assemblies at once. With SolidWorks we can quickly and easily experiment with rough designs, plug in other parts and refine them after testing.” The ability to adapt with changing concepts allows Palatov to reuse successful part designs into new projects resulting in significant time savings. “We find the greatest benefit of SolidWorks is that it is not just a computer drafting program but is truly a powerful design tool that works in the way we like to design.”
Not one to rest on success, Palatov is already making improvements for the next attempt. With the help of SolidWorks Flow Simulation, the next generation vehicle will have improved aerodynamics and the computer simulation will be compared against reference data gathered during the 2012 effort. A great number of revisions and improvements in every aspect of the design are also in Palatov’s plan.
“Reducing vehicle weight involves packing the vehicle as tightly as possible. Part clearances of 1/4” or less in several directions at once are common, making space between parts a premium. With the help of SolidWorks, we can be certain that the clearances and measurements in the software translate to the finished product. The ability to export data directly to manufacturing has allowed us to produce parts accurately the first time and have the real assemblies successfully meet the design intent, which is a testament to SolidWorks capabilities.”
“Ingenuity is a big part of our customers’ DNA. Customers like Dennis Palatov are constantly pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible,” said Sue Evans, MCAD Technologies. “Partnering with SolidWorks allows us to help our customers create the best possible product. We look forward to seeing how Palatov Motorsport continues to innovate and make waves with its vehicle designs.”
Needless to say, Palatov is ready for his second run up the summit. “Pikes Peak is great because it’s an opportunity to test your ideas against the world with no artificial restrictions, no holds barred and no excuses. Game changing innovation requires efficiency at every step of the process. In very real terms, SolidWorks is allowing us to bring our dreams and ideas to life,” said Palatov.
About MCAD Technologies
MCAD specializes in sales, support and training of SolidWorks products; including 3D Solid Modeling, Design Validation and Product Data Management. Serving product development professionals in the Rocky Mountain Region since 1989, the MCAD staff of certified product experts are all degreed mechanical engineers. MCAD’s Applications Engineers can easily and accurately assess your current processes, make recommendations, and assist in implementing solutions that help increase productivity within a short period of time. Working in the mechanical engineering community for over a decade, MCAD has earned the reputation as one of the top organizations for sales and customer support. For additional information, please visit www.mcad.com or call 1-888-861-9659.
About Palatov Motorsport
Palatov Motorsport LLC was founded in October 2008 to design and manufacture high performance vehicles, parts and accessories, primarily targeted at recreational trackday use. The company's mission is to create and build designs with outstanding performance that provide unmatched value in the dedicated trackday car market. Palatov Motorsport has also been successful in designing and supplying components such as suspension parts for custom car applications ranging from individual builds to low and medium volume specialty vehicles.
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