Aluminium profiles are often used for building sim racing rig because they are highly mod-able and makes for a very rigid construction. Anyone can easily add bits and pieces within few minutes, making your rig exactly how you want it. When constructed the right way it’s quite impossible to flex it, perfect for training your muscle memory with braking and steering inputs.
From my own personal experience, you will truly value these materials once you have them in your hands. It feels high tech, they are light in weight, precision cut to length and have an appearance like someone harvested the material from outer space.
“Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile.”
So what do you need to know before taking on your new build? I will walk you trough the basics. The aluminum extrusions are built around the slots they have on all four sides. These slots come in different sizes like 8 or 10 mm depending on the size of your profile. Common profile sizes in metric are 30 x 30 mm and 45 x 45 mm.
The slots are used to insert slot bolts like seen below. A very versatile way of providing a fixation because it can move freely about. Different types exist, a more expensive version features a ball-spring to be able to mount it in vertical profiles without it falling down.
Where the name “8020” comes from? In the US aluminum profile system is often called 8020. It comes from the 80%-20% rule which states 80% of your profit cost only 20% of total effort. Fractional profile sizes range from 1/2″ up to 6″ differing from the metric system. Metric profiles come in 20-30-40-45 mm sizes. Most accessories are designed around the slot feature they all have in common and are available in a wide variety. The most basic accessories are corner brackets, they make an easy T-connection tightened by 2 slotted nuts plus bolt. Others are pivots, plastic caps and ” hammer-nuts” to provide optional fastening methods.
It’s obvious that there are many ways to create an assembly with these extruded profiles, cheaper and more expensive ones. Simple T-nuts and corner brackets seem to provide a nice middle ground both economical and quality wise. Specifically for sim-racing rigs, where you need to mount monitors, steering wheels, pedals etc., Sim-Labs custom laser-cut mounting plates provide a very simple solution for what could potentially drive the cost up. There is a good reason sim-racers choose the virtual battlegrounds over their real life counterparts!
In the video below you see how the center hole of a profile and can be house a bolted connection. With this method you can secure another profile or plate straight to the profile, possibilities are endless!
Please take a look in our own shop for sim racing rigs and attributes here.
To be continued!