Up until now motion simulators have fallen in to 3 main categories; seat movers, D-box style and hexapods. There are other devices which simulate sustained forces to the body which we also make but here’s why we think you should choose a Symdeck motion platform.
We could have copied what everyone else is doing and bought ‘off the shelf’ actuators and mounted them like the solutions described above but we had a vision of what we wanted to achieve. Firstly, it made more sense to us to orientate actuators in the direction they are simulating the force. Secondly, the setup had to be fully modular so users can purchase as much or as little as they require. Thirdly, they have completely flat tops without obstructions so can accommodate most other cockpits.
The s1 offers a surge force of up to +/-80mm @ 250mm/s. This is overlooked by most other simulator suppliers yet is found on £1M plus setups used by car manufacturers. Adding linear surge gives a great sensation with out the feeling of soft suspension you get with using pitch to simulate acceleration and braking. The gear shift ‘kick’ is an additional bonus. The mechanism is fully enclosed along with all the electronics so only a mains and USB cable is visible.
Our s2 motion platform houses 2 actuators with +/- 7 degrees pitch/roll @ 150mm/s unloaded with a capacity of 60kg per actuator at the front. There is an articulated joint with a capacity of 150kg at the rear. The mechanism is fully enclosed along with all the electronics so only a mains and USB cables are visible. As you can see in the image below, the actuators are connected to the top by rods with articulated joints either end. This allows for a large amount of individual movement but the mechanism is completely unstable in this state. However, what is not shown is our proprietary stabiliser mechanism which allows motion/rotation in the desired directions but is rigid where you don’t want motion. This unique design allows for a lot of motion in a compact design.
There is virtually nothing better than taking ‘Eau Rouge’ with the one to one pitch available with this motion platform.
The s3 platform ups the pitch/roll to +/- 10 degrees and adds heave which can be up to 110mm @ 150mm/s unloaded with a capacity of 60kg per actuator. The mechanism is fully enclosed along with all the electronics so only a mains and USB cables are visible. This has four motors as shown below and again has our proprietary stabiliser mechanism to ensure the platform only moves how we want it to. With the heave you feel the bumps in the tracks as well as the jumps and compressions and along with the pitch and roll literally adds a new dimension to driving hilly circuits.
Whether you purchase one or all motion modules you’ll add something to your experience of sim racing. Using all of them together means you can really appreciate the surface details in circuits/ courses. Below is a picture of a customers static with our TL, s1 and s3 adding the motion.
Existing Solutions Explained
Seat movers are the cheapest form of motion simulator designed to rotate the user forwards and backwards and side to side to simulate the motion forces of accelerating, braking and cornering. While this works to a point the main problem is the wheel and pedals remain stationary so they are moving relative to the user which can feel odd. Some add the foot plate as well so the whole of your body rotates. This limits the the user into using the cockpit built in and has limited adjustability and tends to be of a lower quality.
D-box style motion simulators
Pointing upwards and rigidly mounted, these types of motion simulator are well suited to simulate heave but tend not to be able to simulate much pitch and roll, especially with the shorter stroke versions. As the actuators tend to stick up above the base frame they need to be placed at the extremes of the rig which makes this even harder. If you see in the image below as the angle changes the legs have to physically separate but are not designed to do it. With either 2 or 4 actuators these designs tend to use pitch/roll to simulate surge and sway. Also, as they are not fixed at the bottom they can act like ‘pogo’ sticks and take off resulting in them crashing back down again. You are also limited by which cockpits you can use with them.
Hexapod motion simulators
Pointing upwards in a triangular formation these sims are advertised as offering full 6 degrees of freedom. However, to get good surge, sway and yaw/traction loss performance you need to purchase a more expensive version with faster actuators. This is because of the angle of the actuators, they are great at heave, pitch and roll but need to move twice as fast as to simulate surge, sway and yaw/traction loss as a simulator which has actuators pointing in the direction of travel. Again, you are also limited by which cockpits you can use with them.