Designing a Car: Cars are not only an important transportation technology, they are also beautiful works of design. Automotive design might be something you’d be interested in if you love how cars look and work! However, if you don’t know anything about cars or design, it may seem impossible. Fortunately, almost anyone can easily learn how to design a car, whether you draw it by hand or on a computer.
how to design a car
This page attempts to explain some of the most important “rules” of How to Design a Car. You may be thinking that there are no guidelines; Surely every designer is free to do whatever he wants? Obviously this is correct, but cars must comply with the rules and laws regarding type approval, which imposes limitations. That still leaves plenty of room for creative expression. I am referring mainly to common aesthetic practices and traditions, which are complex enough to perhaps be discussed several times here.
How to design the details of a car
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draw and sketch
The designers of each concept car project consider from the outset the core beliefs and principles they wish to convey. We must determine the fundamental characteristics that we want to give to the new vehicle, such as dynamism, sportsmanship, how much emphasis we will place on its habitability, functionality, etc. Describing the initial stage of defining the future face of the showcar, designer Peter Olah says: “The main tools we use in these early stages are pencils and paper, as well as markers to highlight some of the contours.” The first design sketches are only drafts. Emotions take center stage during this phase, which focuses on achieving clarity and organization.
After the drafts on paper, more detailed sketches are made on digital tablets, which are the first drawings showing the surfaces and overall dimensions of the car. The chief designer and the board receive them. This stage is followed by detailed views, cross sections, and final drawings that will be used as input by 3D modelers.
digital design template
The Digital Design Model is made up of the designers’ visions and design data. According to digital modeling specialist Petr Havlek, “our ambition is to harmonize all expectations in terms of aesthetics, ergonomics and functionality with what is technically producible.” After that, a 3D model is created on a PC, details are gradually added, and a group of designers and engineers talk about everything. The next step is to create a clay model while testing the functionality of each component and making additional adjustments. All components of the final digital design model are designed down to the smallest detail; if necessary, each part is further modified on a PC. The final data generated in this way is used in the production of the actual car.
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After the initial computer models and sketches, a 1:1 clay model follows. Clay modeling is one of the traditional methods of designing things. It gives designers a very good idea of what the future car will look like. To soften the clay, an oven is heated to 55-60 °C. The heated soft clay is then applied onto a metal chassis with struts and a skeleton in a layer about 6 cm thick. The required shape is created by designers and modelers; The clay begins to harden after approximately 15 minutes on small surfaces.
After that, special tools are used to work on the clay layer. The interior modeling method is comparable, with the exception of a slightly thinner layer of clay. In addition, the modeling paste is extremely heavy: “VISION E clay” weighs approximately 2.5 tons. Special foils are then applied to the surface of the clay model to give the car a shiny appearance and make each shape stand out. The final clay model is then painted as a car.
The interior model is a single cabin. To make sure everything works both aesthetically and ergonomically, designers have to test everything inside. The model making method is the same as that used to make the exterior model. The only difference is that the interior modeling process uses more prototype parts and 3D printing.
The goal is to give the impression as close to the future as possible. The team further modifies the key concept data and tests other options in parallel with the clay model. Special foils are used to cover the interior clay model to make the different surfaces look like the real car.
The VISION E designers collaborated with Lasvit, a Czech glass specialist, because the lighting and glass components are the “jewels” of the car. The company provided numerous glass details, including those for the lighting system, for both the exterior and interior.
The lights span the entire front skin, including a backlit element under the lip of the hood. The showcar’s personality is brought to life by the lighting design, which also shows our plans for future models. The light signature refers to new technologies. Petr Nevela explains the reason for the lighting design: “The impressive combination of art and technology is enhanced by glass and light.”
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Color and materials
Each member of Color & Trim, the group in charge of interior trim, seat materials and body colors, among other things. is in charge of a particular area, such as leather, textiles, interior colors, exterior paints, trim strips, etc. Computer visualizations are used to match materials and colors. In small boxes (vehicle parts), where the different parts can be changed, practical demonstrations are carried out.
The development process for showcars is always faster than for series production vehicles. The VISION E is a revolutionary product because it is purely an electric vehicle and we couldn’t use any of the existing platforms for it. We started from scratch in all aspects, including the bodywork, the door opening system and the tailgate opening system actuated by electrically controlled dampers, explains project coordinator Daniel Edr, describing some of the details of the concept car project. . The spaciousness of the interior, the smooth sheet metal floor and the frameless side doors (the rear doors open in the opposite direction of vehicle movement) are also distinctive features. Stepping into the vehicle, the vehicle appears extremely comfortable due to the absence of a conventional B-pillar.
Throughout the showcar development process, materials and documents for meetings of key experts and meetings of the Board of Directors are continuously produced. According to Daniel Edr, “My responsibility is to prepare the concept and then harmonize all the inputs provided by the respective design teams.” At this point, the work of dozens of people who have put a lot of effort has been completed.
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