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What is the point of suspension in Supercars?


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#1 Paul202

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

Since I have to wait until I can get some pieces form Bricllink to work on my BTR-80, I have decided to build by favorite car, a Ford GT. I have been think gin about the design, and it will not be motorized. However, I am wondering if I should build it with suspension, and if I do what is the point? On a lego supercare the frame is usually very close to the wheels, to the point where if suspension is compressed more than a couple MM, the wheels will hit the frame. My question is mainly directed to Supercar builders, but anyone can answer it.

#2 Blakbird

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:54 PM

The point is the same as any other function of a Technic model: to be as realistic as possible.
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#3 Azzepa

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

Never built one myself, but I guess it is for the realism more than anything, I mean, those things will never not go on a more or less flat surface, where it is pointless to need it. Other than that, it could just be one of those challenges for the builder to incorporate.

Edited by Azzepa, 03 November 2012 - 09:55 PM.

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#4 AndyCW

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:16 PM

Supercars have suspensions because it makes them hande better and corner faster.  Lego supercars have them because it makes them more realistic and provides a challenge to the builder.
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#5 Zblj

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

Yeah its for functionality and for the challange.

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#6 Azzepa

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:47 PM

 Zblj, on 03 November 2012 - 10:27 PM, said:

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#7 Phoxtane

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:06 AM

"For the lulz" is probably the best explanation as to why any Technic builder does anything that's beyond the ordinary!

Edited by Phoxtane, 04 November 2012 - 12:12 AM.

Why fix it when you can INNOVATE it?

#8 AndyCW

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:46 AM

It must really blow your mind when we see lego supercars with camber, caster, kingpin inclination, toe in, and camber curves through suspension cycle.

Sometimes it is not enough of a challenge or "lulz" to just have suspension.  The suspension itself needs to be as realistic as possible.  Some people actually worry about getting the values of the above parameters correct instead of just incorporating the feature itself.

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#9 mahjqa

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:55 AM

 AndyCW, on 04 November 2012 - 02:46 AM, said:

It must really blow your mind when we see lego supercars with camber, caster, kingpin inclination, toe in, and camber curves through suspension cycle.

Well, no. It's the same reason Lego stopped putting gearboxes in supercars; while it's more realistic, it doesn't add to the play value, and hardly anyone cares.

#10 Anio

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:59 AM

Just one thing : in a model, more functions does not necessary mean that the model is better.

#11 Lipko

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

 mahjqa, on 04 November 2012 - 09:55 AM, said:

Well, no. It's the same reason Lego stopped putting gearboxes in supercars; while it's more realistic, it doesn't add to the play value, and hardly anyone cares.
This. That's why I dropped these suspension features. Apart from the Ackermann and shock absorbers, the other stuff don't add value. If exaggerated, they actually ruin playability and realism. If the are set realistically, it's pretty much impossible to notice the difference between no such things at all. And it's not lulz to struggle with unnoticeable features.

Edited by Lipko, 04 November 2012 - 10:09 AM.


#12 allanp

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:09 AM

I love having suspention and gearboxes and all that stuff, it just makes the car seem more real, like it's a real car only smaller. That's what technic does and only technic can do that. It's way better than having it just steer or just be RC, which a million other toys do! If you want to build a large scale supercar without suspention then it's gonna be seen as more of a racers type set than a technic set. On real supercars the wheel arches are wider than the wheels so the wheel moves up and behind them when the suspension is under full compression. Getting that to both look and work right requires some sweet geometry the likes of which nicjasno would be proud of! But suspention isn't just about functionality it can also be aesthetic. The look of the whole vehicle, from the way the wheels are moving up and down seprate from the body, to the way the whole car is absorbing the bumps, is greatly improved. I liken it to CGI effects in the movies. The computer model can look great when it's still, but if it's animated badly the illusion is ruined. The car not only have to look right, it has to move right for it to look it's best. So far the best suspention and steering belongs to the test car from 1988!
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#13 TheQ

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:16 PM

 Lipko, on 04 November 2012 - 10:08 AM, said:

This. That's why I dropped these suspension features. Apart from the Ackermann and shock absorbers, the other stuff don't add value. If exaggerated, they actually ruin playability and realism. If the are set realistically, it's pretty much impossible to notice the difference between no such things at all. And it's not lulz to struggle with unnoticeable features.

The value for people like me is to try stuff that is hard to do, basically aiming for achieving that "OMG, I would never had guessed that that is possible!" comment. This might mean a lot of time is spent on just iterating throught very working but all slightly "wrong" versions of mechanism, colorschemes, forms etc. just to achieve that final, acceptable version. This whole process of creation is itself a value for some people (for example me) eventhought it would not add value itself to the model. Of course, every builder has different idea of actual goal of building: Some aim for playable and sturdy models, some aim to make models realistic and good looking and some just do stuff for the fun of it.

And I think some people are crazy enough to improve unnoticiable stuff simply becase they actually notice it, even if the larger audience can't notice the improvement at all.
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#14 AndyCW

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

It seems that there is a balancing act of sorts between playability and realism.  Where the individual builder attempts that balance is determined by many factors.  I can think of a couple.
  • target audience
  • purpose of model
  • time and patience of builder
Can anybody else think of factors that influence playability vs. realism?

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#15 Meatman

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

If you are building a motorized model, why would you not want a suspension system in it?

In a real car, how much really does the suspension compress? In a Lego car or supercar, it seems that most of the time the suspension compresses much more than it realistically would.

#16 Lipko

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:21 PM

 TheQ, on 05 November 2012 - 02:16 PM, said:

The value for people like me is to try stuff that is hard to do, basically aiming for achieving that "OMG, I would never had guessed that that is possible!" comment. This might mean a lot of time is spent on just iterating throught very working but all slightly "wrong" versions of mechanism, colorschemes, forms etc. just to achieve that final, acceptable version. This whole process of creation is itself a value for some people (for example me) eventhought it would not add value itself to the model. Of course, every builder has different idea of actual goal of building: Some aim for playable and sturdy models, some aim to make models realistic and good looking and some just do stuff for the fun of it.

And I think some people are crazy enough to improve unnoticiable stuff simply becase they actually notice it, even if the larger audience can't notice the improvement at all.

Yes, but I think we are talking about two different things. I think you talk more about proof of concept design than supercar model design. In my opinion, when talking about supercars, the builder focuses on the final product (I don't mean it's for selling or for the audience). And the final product (in Lego building, or in engineering, software, architecture etc) is about making compromises and to actually "ship" something. And you have to decide what you focus on, and at some point, you have to drop features that you want to implement just fort the sake of implementing it, in favour to the overall quality of the final product.

Proof of concept building is different in my opinion. In that case, you focus on a single feature or a few closely related features and not care that much about the rest.

In both cases, the process of creation IS the value (for me too, and I think for every hobby builders), but the satisfaction is maybe different.

Edited by Lipko, 05 November 2012 - 05:24 PM.


#17 allanp

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:41 PM

 Meatman, on 05 November 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:

If you are building a motorized model, why would you not want a suspension system in it?

In a real car, how much really does the suspension compress? In a Lego car or supercar, it seems that most of the time the suspension compresses much more than it realistically would.

I would tend to argue the opposite is true. When you lift a car off the ground, the wheels move alot, then when you place the car back down again, the wheels move back up into the arches quite alot. The cars own weight is enought to compress the springs about 25% at a guess. That's what I usually aim for, so the suspention springs compress about half a stud in length just when placed on the ground and it feels and looks great and very authentic when going along the floor! Most lego suspentions don't compress at all when under their own weight, with the exception of 8466 which was too soft. The test car from 1988 got it just right.
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#18 Lipko

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

 allanp, on 05 November 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

I would tend to argue the opposite is true. When you lift a car off the ground, the wheels move alot, then when you place the car back down again, the wheels move back up into the arches quite alot. The cars own weight is enought to compress the springs about 25% at a guess. That's what I usually aim for, so the suspention springs compress about half a stud in length just when placed on the ground and it feels and looks great and very authentic when going along the floor! Most lego suspentions don't compress at all when under their own weight, with the exception of 8466 which was too soft. The test car from 1988 got it just right.

That's true but you have to take pre-compression of the springs into account too. i don't know about real cars, but Lego springs have significant pre-compression. So making a too soft suspension for Lego cars can make the suspension unrealistically soft.

#19 Saberwing40k

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

The point is to put it in there for sake of accuracy. But, if you're just going for looks, you could leave it out. It's your model man, and your choice as to what goes into it, and what does not. For instance, I'm building a model of an Oshkosh PLS truck, and I'm leaving out some aspects of the drivetrain, namely the locking differentials, which to me are unimportant. If the suspension is what you want, put it in.

Also, in case you need help, try looking at Sheepo's MPS.

It's a complete system, in case you need suspension inspiration.
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#20 Meatman

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

 allanp, on 05 November 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

I would tend to argue the opposite is true. When you lift a car off the ground, the wheels move alot, then when you place the car back down again, the wheels move back up into the arches quite alot. The cars own weight is enought to compress the springs about 25% at a guess. That's what I usually aim for, so the suspention springs compress about half a stud in length just when placed on the ground and it feels and looks great and very authentic when going along the floor! Most lego suspentions don't compress at all when under their own weight, with the exception of 8466 which was too soft. The test car from 1988 got it just right.

I am talking about when the car is already resting on it's wheels and the suspension is somewhat compressed.

#21 jorgeopesi

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

I built a R8 that it had suspension with caster and camber angles to find the complexity and the fun. I learned that in a high scale model (8448 or silver champion wheels) with many functions and weight that will never be playable is good to do the hard. If you built a small (599 wheels) or a RC MOC (trucks, trial trucks, machinery or cars) the best thing you can do is to do it as simple as posible but always with suspension like the model you want to do, technic consists on complicate your own life a little :laugh:  .
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#22 Lost_In_Noise

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

 AndyCW, on 05 November 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

  • time and patience of builder

That's never an issue on my part. I've got all the time in the world. But for the NON -AFOL target audience I can understand why. They could always do a Car Chassis with those attributes, with less than 1000 parts.
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