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DIY 8020 or Prebuilt?

I'm thinking of upgrading to an actual sim rig and am trying to decide between building my own with 8020 or going with a pre built one, probably the gt1 evo.

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Here is an image of what I came up with in Frame Designer. It's 55"x23" and the vertical wheel posts are 26". This is using mostly 1.5"x3" from Tnutz. Except for the wheel posts and wheel deck, that's 1.5"x4.5". I threw together a similar one using 1.5"x4.5" for the base as well. I feel like that is probably overkill though.

I've never worked with 8020 before and this design is pretty similar to what other people have done. I'm just looking for some feedback from someone with more experience and if there are any major changes I should look into.

I don't know if the seat mounting or pedal area's would work. I'm looking to try and get the Proto Simtech PT2's when they are available and pull a seat out of an old car.

I'm planning on getting the simucube 2 pro so that's why I was thinking of going the diy 8020 route instead of the Gt1 evo from simlab.

Also has anyone built a rig out of wood. I was thinking using 2x4's as the frame would be a lot cheaper but I don't know how sturdy it would be.

Thanks for the help.
 
DIY. It's fun, creative, challenging, less expensive, you will end up with something unique and customized, you will feel proud of designing and building it yourself and you will learn and acquire skills during the process.

I made my first rig with MDF (very solid and heavy), but consider the great advantages and ease of the aluminium profiles as regard adjustments, modifications , additions, etc. which you will make sooner of later, apart from the fact that it looks more modern or industrial.
 
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Ruttman98

Premium
Having built a similar DIY 80/20 rig from fractional 15-series profiles (standard 1.5-in. base) here in the US about 8 years, I would suggest that you strongly consider 40-series metric profiles as most commercial rigs use metric profile. True, there are a few less 80/20 Inc. profiles and fastening options in metric than standard, but there is no price difference. Finding metric fasterners in the US is a slight concern but nothing the internet can'tsolve in a day or so.

For instance, if you want to add a specialized wheel plate or pedal plate from a retail rig vendor such as Sim-Lab, Racing Sim Rigs UK, or even Trac Racer, they all use metric profiles and hardware. The differences in standard and metric slot spacing does not allow for mixing most plate type fastening methods.

I can confirm there is some interchangeabilty between the metric and standard corner brackets and gusseted brackets in working with my rig and a Sim-Lab triple monitor stand.
You can use 5/16-18 hardware or M8 hardware with either 15- or 40-series profiles, but try to avoid the headache of mixing the two types.

Finally, be sure to price out your rig fully including all fasteners and to factor in shipping costs. Recently, before I sold my old style Sim-Lab triple monitor stand, I roughly calculated the component costs to exceed $325 USD. You can buy many new prebuilt stands for only little more $.

In many cases the prebuilts are coming in very competitively priced even with international shipping. Aluminum extrusion seems to be cheaper in Europe than North America, and the rig builders are buying in volume. Many rig builders also supply roll-in T-nuts which are superior in function and ease of use to standard economy T-nuts. I do, however prefer using authentic 80/20 Inc flanged button head socket bolts as they eliminate the need for a washer for most applications.
 
Having built a similar DIY 80/20 rig from fractional 15-series profiles (standard 1.5-in. base) here in the US about 8 years, I would suggest that you strongly consider 40-series metric profiles as most commercial rigs use metric profile. True, there are a few less 80/20 Inc. profiles and fastening options in metric than standard, but there is no price difference. Finding metric fasterners in the US is a slight concern but nothing the internet can'tsolve in a day or so.

For instance, if you want to add a specialized wheel plate or pedal plate from a retail rig vendor such as Sim-Lab, Racing Sim Rigs UK, or even Trac Racer, they all use metric profiles and hardware. The differences in standard and metric slot spacing does not allow for mixing most plate type fastening methods.

I can confirm there is some interchangeabilty between the metric and standard corner brackets and gusseted brackets in working with my rig and a Sim-Lab triple monitor stand.
You can use 5/16-18 hardware or M8 hardware with either 15- or 40-series profiles, but try to avoid the headache of mixing the two types.

Finally, be sure to price out your rig fully including all fasteners and to factor in shipping costs. Recently, before I sold my old style Sim-Lab triple monitor stand, I roughly calculated the component costs to exceed $325 USD. You can buy many new prebuilt stands for only little more $.

In many cases the prebuilts are coming in very competitively priced even with international shipping. Aluminum extrusion seems to be cheaper in Europe than North America, and the rig builders are buying in volume. Many rig builders also supply roll-in T-nuts which are superior in function and ease of use to standard economy T-nuts. I do, however prefer using authentic 80/20 Inc flanged button head socket bolts as they eliminate the need for a washer for most applications.

I have looked at Misumi which does have 40 series profiles but I think Tnutz was a little cheaper overall. I've heard from multiple people that the fasteners and connectors cost a lot.

I think the gt1 evo was somewhere around $550 after shipping when I priced it before. But then I think I'd have to buy an additional mount for the simucube and who knows how long shipping will take. I'm also worried about how the gt1 handles the simucube, I've seen some people say there is flexing and others say it's rock solid.

Unfortunately it seems pretty much everything sim racing related is cheaper and more readily available in Europe. That's what got me looking into building my own because the shipping costs are always a minimum of $100. Granted Tnutz shipping was $50 I think.
 
Also with you guys mentioning the 40 series. Is 40/80 good enough for the frame and wheel mount? Or do you need 40/120 for them? I know the PX1 uses 40/160 for the frame which seems like overkill but since I've never used 8020 I don't really know, just going off what people say online.
 

Ruttman98

Premium
I have used in various iterations of my rig with 1545 (4.5-in) and 1530 (3-in) wide profiles for the steering wheel uprights and crossbar. Both are quite rigid.

I am using a Fanatec CSW V2.5 on a static rig, but if a direct drive wheel or a motion system is in your future plans, I would use 40mmx120mm or the T-nutz equivalent to 80/20 1545 standard profile.

You might reach out to a local 80/20 distributor to see if you can save something on shipping. After I downloaded a couple of CAD models from 80/20, I had several regional sellers reach out to me saying that it would be cheaper to buy from them than buying direct from the Indiana factory. I have not explored that option as I typically buy used 80/20 components and "seconds" from the Ebay 80/20 garage sale.
 
I can pick up from the Misumi warehouse to save on shipping so I'll go that route. Maybe I'll go with 40x120 for the uprights and crossbar. The rest of the base 40x80 and the pedal parts and shifter rail 40x40? Anyone have thoughts on that setup? Or should I go with 40x80 for everything?
 
I have a Simucube 2 Pro mounted to a rig that’s a mix of 4040 and 8040 and it’s solid as a rock.

Mine is based roughly on a the GT EVO - I added in a 2x4 plate that braces the wheel deck uprights.

My wheel deck is 40/80 across with short 40/80 stubs sticking out. (40/80 as opposed to 80/40 in orientation) Remember that the wheel mount also bolts down and braces that piece too.

Rigidity is from construction - not heavier or thicker materials. You’re better off going with bracing than just making everything thicker and wider. I reckon you could probably build a totally rigid rig using only 4040 and some extra bracing pieces.
 

TedBrosby-

Premium
I have looked at Misumi which does have 40 series profiles but I think Tnutz was a little cheaper overall. I've heard from multiple people that the fasteners and connectors cost a lot.

I think the gt1 evo was somewhere around $550 after shipping when I priced it before. But then I think I'd have to buy an additional mount for the simucube and who knows how long shipping will take. I'm also worried about how the gt1 handles the simucube, I've seen some people say there is flexing and others say it's rock solid.

Unfortunately it seems pretty much everything sim racing related is cheaper and more readily available in Europe. That's what got me looking into building my own because the shipping costs are always a minimum of $100. Granted Tnutz shipping was $50 I think.
My custom 8020 is similar to the GT1 with its positioning and style, I built an OSW with Simucube 1 which has between SC2 Sport and Pro levels of torque. If I pull on the wheel to test flex, I can see the uprights flex forward and backward slightly from the cantilever arm. That’s JUST from the weight of the motor (around 10-11 kg) so GT1 will definitely flex. If you make your vertical uprights 160x40 or maybe even 120x40, I think you won’t have flex at all.
 
I have a Simucube 2 Pro mounted to a rig that’s a mix of 4040 and 8040 and it’s solid as a rock.

Mine is based roughly on a the GT EVO - I added in a 2x4 plate that braces the wheel deck uprights.

My wheel deck is 40/80 across with short 40/80 stubs sticking out. (40/80 as opposed to 80/40 in orientation) Remember that the wheel mount also bolts down and braces that piece too.

Rigidity is from construction - not heavier or thicker materials. You’re better off going with bracing than just making everything thicker and wider. I reckon you could probably build a totally rigid rig using only 4040 and some extra bracing pieces.

Do you have any pictures of your rig?
 
That's an interesting way to go. It seems like it's a little bit cheaper for the extrusion with the added bracing and using 40x80 for the wheel posts and crossbar. I don't know how much more extra fasteners would be though and what exact extrusion I would need for the angled bracing, I can ask musumi though and see what they have.

Here is an updated picture with some additional 40x80 bracing added. I feel like that should make it pretty stable. Does this look like it would work for a DD wheel?
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I don't know why the green bolts or whatever they are are highlighted.
 
I would only use T connectors for the parts of the structure that need to be very strong and are never going to change in the future: the base and the columns. The rest will be ok with brackets and it will be more practical if you need to cut or move profiles. Oh, just a few things about your design. The pieces of profile that you place in and angle of 45° as a reinforcement don't need to be so wide not cut in angle. In order to install them, select M12 machining in both ends (a thread hole) and install them with these angle connectors. As regard the angle reinforcement between the columns and the wheel base, forget them and use 8,5 cm brackets. They will be more than enough together with the T connectors. Finally, one of the more critical part of the cockpit as regards ergonomy (own experience) is the wheel base, especially if you are installing a DD steering wheel with a mouning bracket like this one. The problem is that your legs will touch the bottom of the profiles, unless you are very short, or have your wheel installed very high or your pedals very low. My advice is to use a T connector there for that short piece of profile (you save some cm because it will be at the same level) and use just 1 piece in the center (not 2), so that you save room for your legs. To install the wheel, a thick sheet of aluminium (5 or 6 mm) attached to the top of the profile that goes between the colums will be a good solution.

suggestions-rig.jpg
 
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I would only use T connectors for the parts of the structure that need to be very strong and are never going to change in the future: the base and the columns.

What do you mean by T connectors and brackets? I don't really know the difference between the two.

The rest will be ok with brackets and it will be more practical if you need to cut or move profiles. Oh, just a few things about your design. The pieces of profile that you place in and angle of 45° as a reinforcement don't need to be so wide not cut in angle. In order to install them, select M12 machining in both ends (a thread hole) and install them with these angle connectors.

Are you saying they don't need to be 40x80 they can be 40x40 instead? And you can do the machining and use the angle connector you posted to install them without cutting the extrusion on an angle? I just want to make sure I'm understanding what you mean before I make any changes.

As regard the angle reinforcement between the columns and the wheel base, forget them and use 8,5 cm brackets. They will be more than enough together with the T connectors.

Do you think only using brackets will be strong enough for a DD wheel? I switched to 40x80 instead of 40x120 for the cross bar and I didn't think a bracket would be strong enough for that. The extra bracing there isn't very expensive but what worries me is making that area a little narrower and I don't know if it would be in the way of my legs.

Finally, one of the more critical part of the cockpit as regards ergonomy (own experience) is the wheel base, especially if you are installing a DD steering wheel with a mouning bracket like this one. The problem is that your legs will touch the bottom of the profiles, unless you are very short, or have your wheel installed very high or your pedals very low. My advice is to use a T connector there for that short piece of profile (you save some cm because it will be at the same level) and use just 1 piece in the center (not 2), so that you save room for your legs. To install the wheel, a thick sheet of aluminium (5 or 6 mm) attached to the top of the profile that goes between the colums will be a good solution.

I was planning on using that same mounting bracket you linked. My plan was to attach it to the top of my 2 pieces of profile so it's above the crossbar. I'm not sure if that's how you mount the wheel or not but if so that would make it higher. Isn't using 1 piece with a plate like you showed lower than how I am planning?

Thanks for the info and suggestions though. I can send the info to Misumi and they can help me find the correct parts for brackets and angle connections etc. It's a fun process designing and changing these pieces but it's also a little intimidating but fun.
 
Sorry if some of the names don't match exactly. I normally know the names in Spanish.

In my cockpit I used 45x45 and 45x90 profiles, both heavy type (stronger, although maybe not neccesary for all parts).

The profile in 45° is just a standard profile (no need to cut in angle), but with M12 machining in both ends. The 45° brackets need M12 screws to be attached to the profile. Then you can install the profile to your rig with T-slot nuts and M8 screws.

By T-connectors I mean the attachment between profiles which consist in machining (a hole in the profile). This hole will receive a cilindrical piece of metal and a T-slot connector, which can be 0° or 90°, depending on the direction of the attachment (you have to buy all these pieces and know what you are ordering).

You don't have to use machining or brackets. You can use both at the same time to add strenght. For instance, the bar between my columns use machining (T-connectors) and I also installed big brackets to add more ridigity. I meant: use machining only where it's neccesary. It's a pain to install, believe me. When inserting the T-connector you have to be very precisse for the joint to work. Also, you have to install the profile from one end, not directly wherever you want, unlike with brackets.

I have attached a photo so that you can see the most usual stuff you will need when working with profiles. I think it will help you see clearly how things work: brackets, D17 machining, connectors, M12 machining, T-nuts (different types, some are stronger, others are more practical...).

material-motedis.jpg


angle-connector.jpg
 
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