What Does the Process for Designing a Car Involve?

Auto Tech Outlook | Thursday, November 18, 2021

Summary: To those outside the automotive industry, the design of a new automobile is frequently a mystery.

FREMONT, CA: The process of developing an automobile from an idea drawn on paper to a dazzling production concept on the auto show floor typically takes around three years. The design can be fundamentally altered or even discarded at any point along that process. Designers quickly discover that their ideas are not always going to become a reality.

The below section delves into and reveals some of the three-year procedures of designing a new automobile:

The first step is to create a drawing/rendering. This process often begins with a single designer sketching up an idea or set of ideas. This is typically the focal point of things in films, television, and marketing materials for new designs - the most "glamorous." The designer's drawing can originate from anywhere—a unique idea given to a design lead, a request for designs from company-wide studios, or even (infrequently) from freelance designers submitting an idea to the company for consideration. Thousands of designs are frequently submitted to automakers each year, with only one or two making it to showroom floors.

The first adjustment is to the packaging. The initial design concept is modified to account for packaging needs (engine availability, drive train layouts, and other safety criteria). This is where the majority of the design's essential alterations will occur. This is typically where art meets reality, and concessions are made for the artist who designed the vehicle in the first place. The car is still on paper at this phase but will undergo multiple alterations and re-drawings until basic engineering requirements are completed.

Following that, computer and clay modeling are used to transform 2-D representations into 3-D reality. The two-dimensional designs on paper are turned to three dimensions at this phase. This process begins with computer renderings, which are used to see the concept as an item and determine the car's physical proportions in numerical terms, allowing for detailed sketches. Following that, the sketches are utilized to make an actual clay model—typically by hand. Modern inventions, such as 3-D printers, are gradually infiltrating this technique, but only very slowly and frequently in addition to rather than in conventional clay modeling.

Many iterations of the design concept are frequently explored during this modeling phase, and thus more than one clay model may be made. It is uncommon for a clay model to be the full size at this point; they are typically scaled down to be smaller than full size to save time. A full-scale clay model will not be created unless a single design has been chosen and designers or engineers require a complete depiction.

The chosen design is then fully modeled. This whole model may be created of clay or a combination of clay and other materials to create a lighter, more easily transported model. While clay remains the industrial standard, other materials are being supplanted as they become more affordable and easier to deal with. Once completed, this full-sized model will resemble a real car and is frequently photographed and used as the first marketing material.

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