Sleigh Design Challenge

This holiday season, there are more people than ever to deliver presents to. Using the HyperWorks free student edition, can you help design Santa’s sleigh to be lightweight, aerodynamic, and efficient, so he can get to more houses, communicate with the north pole, carry more presents per trip, and do all of this without compromising safety?

The winning model submitted to by the 11th of December will be used for Altair’s UK EDU holiday greetings. Entries accepted from anyone and models may be used for marketing and training purposes by Altair.

Challenge Ideas

solidThinking Inspire concept design of Santa’s sleigh

  • Optimize the sleigh chassis and body to be strong and lightweight
  • Optional: render results in Evolve

Virtual Wind Tunnel (VWT) aerodynamic analysis of sleigh

  • How does yaw and pitch change performance? Can you reduce the drag coefficient and increase lift? Does it need wings or passive aero features?
  • Optional: create colourful result contours in AcuFieldView

FEKO Electromagnetic simulation and analysis of sleigh with electrical item(s) of your choice such as an antenna, lights, satnav, and/or built-in wifi. FEKO lite is free to download here:

OptiStruct composite and/or metallic optimization of Santa’s sleigh for maximum torsional stiffness and/or minimum weight

  • Composite body design – 3 phase optimization (free size, size, shuffle)
  • Metallic Shell design – size and topography optimization
  • Topology optimization of rail-to-sleigh chassis structure
  • Hint: import geometry into HyperMesh, use OptiStruct profile, mesh, set up as an analysis then work on optimization if time. Help tutorial models available for OptiStruct on HyperWorks Help

RADIOSS crash analysis of santa’s sleigh into a barrier wall

  • Hint: Import geometry into HyperMesh, use RADIOSS profile, mesh, set up model to crash into a barrier wall. (reference HyperWorks Help tutorial RD-3530 beam crush/buckling)

Feel free to generate your own models or modify Altair’s. Please provide reference links if you are using someone else’s CAD. The models below could be helpful:
- Initial Sleigh CAD and models by Altair
- sleigh.stmod (solidThinking model for Inspire)
- sleigh.x_t (CAD for import into all)
- sleigh.nas (water-tight Nastran (Fluent) surface mesh for VWT input)
- sleigh_VWT.stmod by Altair
- vwtanalysis.pdf – VWT example by Altair

Submission information (email to by December 11):

Your name (teams allowed):

Your email address:

University attending/attended:

University year & course:

Current company:

Final model and relevant result files:

2-3 images for greeting card:

1-paragraph about the process you used to create your model. How did you justify design decisions such as loading? What did you learn?

About Rahul Ponginan

Senior Manager - Global Academic Programs
Altair Student Edition
Altair Student Edition

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