Motion simulators used to be out of reach for consumers and was only reserved for manufacturers and engineering firms. Today, there are plenty affordable motion systems out there designed for entertainment. There are many different ways to create motion, hydraulic based seat mover, electro magnetic actuators platform movers, and the 6 axis type motion simulators.
Not all motion simulators are made equal or designed specifically for sim racing. Many serve multiple purposes other than sim racing. Flight sims, VR Experience are also supported. Some are better for that particular experience. Let’s go through the pros and cons.
Seat moving based systems are generally most affordable and takes up the least amount of space. This type of motion system uses the G Force data capture from the simulator and tries to mimic G-Force you would experience, while this is great for flight sim and rollercoaster VR Rides, its not very good for a sim racing experience. The motion does not translate well to how a vehicle is behaving and who in the world would drive a car with its seat moving around and not bolted in place?
4 Post electromagnetic actuated motion simulators such as D-BOX are more sophisticated in its design. They also come at a much higher price. This type of motion simulators could simulate 3 Degrees of Freedom, which are roll, pitch and elevate. When used with sim racing, DBOX’s motion profile will take simulated data off each individual suspension and replicate the vehicle motion via the 4 individual actuators. This allows the DBOX to simulate the precise motion that you would feel as you were in the real car. Enhancing the force feedback with additional road feel, and a better sense of speed. However the G-Force experienced via DBOX is not as intense as other motion simulators out there.
6 Axis or 6DOF motion simulators are the holy grail of motion sim. On top of the 4 degrees of freedom found on the 4 Post system, the 6DOF could also move from side to side and forward/backwards. To properly simulate both G-Force and suspension movement at the same time. These are generally very expensive and requires an entire warehouse to operate. The most impressive setup that has been shown to the public is probably the one used at the Dallara R&D Center, which has been used for development of various formula cars and every major supercar manufacturer. There are low cost alternatives found on Chinese E-commerce sites for this type for 6DOF motion simulators, but these inexpensive alternatives have one major flaw which is their software. This a whole different topic that we can discuss at another time.
Whats your thought on motion simulators? We chose DBOX because it is affordable for its refinement and it provides the best driving feel out of all motion simulators out there. As every petrolhead out there, we all know how important on how the car feel is to us.
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