BBi Autosport explains how Fusion 360 enabled them to design the Hoonipigasus, “a car that can do nearly anything.”
Like many origin stories, the early beginnings of the Huntington Beach, California automotive tuning company BBi Autosport can be traced back to the wide-eyed and formative years of childhood.
“It was one afternoon when my cousin and I were playing outside when we spotted a stunning Porsche 959 drive by,” recollects BBi co-founder Betim Berisha, “It was the very same car on my cousin’s favorite poster up on his wall. We later found out the driver behind the wheel was Bill Gates!”
The sighting of the supercar – one of only 292 ever built – would give birth to a lifelong obsession with Porsches that would only intensify with age, culminating in Berisha founding BBi Autosport in 2005.
“These cars can do anything: hill climbs, off road, ice racing, rally racing, endurance races.”— Betim Berisha, Founder, BBi Autosport
Alongside designer and company CTO, Dmitriy Orlov, today BBi Autosport operates at the upper echelons of bespoke motorsports, hosting a team capable of not only tuning and customizing the “phenomenal, dynamic, wildly versatile canvas” of Porsche vehicles,” but also designing vehicles uniquely their own in spirit and performance.
Designing “The Pig”
BBi’s talent for conjuring one-of-a-kind Porsches is perhaps best embodied by the creation of the Hoonipigasus, a beastly 1,400 HP mid-engine AWD rally racer conceived from the ground up in partnership with Hoonigan Racing for rally car legend, Ken Block. Loosely inspired by the Porsche 911, “The Pig” – as it is fondly referred to by its creators – was to be let loose on the death-defying winding course of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for its 100th-anniversary race with the hopes of breaking records on its way up to the race’s 14,100 feet peak.
The Pikes Peak trial was preceded by BBi’s own race against time. Battling an “insane” schedule compounded by long lead times further complicated by the pandemic, BBi found themselves designing, engineering, fabricating and testing The Pig in parallel.
Traditional tools wouldn’t allow each of the team members to work concurrently and collaboratively without “stepping on each other’s toes”. The Pig not only had to get assembled to roll up to the starting line by race day, but had to be engineered to the most exacting standards.
With a mere 0.04mm margin of error for their measurements, the team had to factor in every aspect of every part to line up with precise accuracy to bring their vision to life.“Producing parts of that quality is a daunting task when dealing with the tight deadline we were under,” says Breisha.
Turning the corner from chaos into collaboration
The need for a CAD/CAM solution that would allow the BBi team to develop products concurrently and outside the boundaries of traditional 3D modeling software made Autodesk Fusion 360 the ideal tool set, one that could bring all of their aggregated data into one centralized location. They’d find simplicity in using a cloud product development tool integrating CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB to turn prototypes into production-ready parts.
“Autodesk Fusion 360 enabled us to move seamlessly through every stage in our development process, whether we were designing an engine, chassis, or even the smallest component,” says Betim. Tools like generative design enabled Betim and his team to run flow analysis to generate recommended outputs. They then used this data to design parts manufactured to their desired specifications.
“Fusion 360 allowed Dmitriy, to bring all of our aggregated data into one centralized location,” he says, “We could then all design and build in parallel by prioritizing tasks based on their lead times. For example, making molds and tooling for bodywork was our first priority because it would have the longest lead time.”
“Collaborating on the cloud turned the chaos into organized chaos, Fusion 360 enabled us to design, validate, build and get straight to the racetrack very quickly.”
The motorsport to consumer product pipeline
Unfortunately, even with the greatest plans in place, motorsport races are unpredictable by nature. The Pig would drop a valve before even qualifying for the race, leaving a disappointed Block and the BBi team to look ahead toward the 101st “Race to the Clouds.”
Though disheartened, Betim remains upbeat about the lessons learned leading up to the race and how they’ll translate to their consumer products division.
“There’s a trickle-down effect from our motorsport division to our consumer product division,” notes the Porsche-loving-kid-turned-BBi-founder. “We found with almost the click of a button, Fusion 360 is capable of exporting our 3D models to our CNC machine to manufacture right then and there, ending up with a finished part that is ready to hit the racetrack or ship out the door to our client.”
As for Pike’s Peak, “We’ll be back. A little wiser, always humble, but no less hungry.”