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Old 01-09-2006, 05:37 PM   #1
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From paper to pavement (Article 2)

Hello again, this is going to be my second article covering the idea behind automotive designing. If you have not yet read my first article, please read the article in the link below befor reading this section.

From paper to pavement (Article 2)
by Steve Earl

Hello enthusiastic readers. My previous artice, indicated in the link above covered the Concept design stage of Automotive designing. It was specific towards Sketching and drawing, as well as some aspects of planing the layout of your vehicle.
After you have some good sketches and your four 2D views in detail done in AutoCad. You can then import them into your 3D PROGRAM. Now there is one main program used by the proffesionals in the Automotive industry, that is call Studio Tools 12 by Alias. This is the program for automotive design from a concept. You do not have to use autocad for an out line, if your good, you can simply model from your sketches. Now i use this Program for 3D, but it is hard, and expensive. If you dont have that kind of budget, or knowledge of 3D. You can use a program like Maya 3D, Rhino 3D, or 3D studio max(excellent program).
I cant really walk you through any of these programs without writing a book so ill leave that to you to learn. There are some good books for most of these 3D programs, as well as some excellent on-line tutorials at "" or "".
After the painfully long process of making you precise and detailed 3D model of your car, render it in many different views. First, make sure you copywrite any photos you give out or share. Get some feedback on your concept model, spend some time to look at it, and make anychanges you feels are necessary.
Once you have had some feedback, and have looked over you model, you should have a design you are two hundred percent satisfied with. this model should represent your initial concept as well as functionality of whatever type of vehicle yopu are designing.
Your 3D model dosent just look pretty, it can now perform the rest of you design process with great accuracy and efficientcy.Exporting you model in different CAD formats will enable you to Import your model in different programs to run some test and anylize your medel for different functions and features.
Now it is time do some tests on your model, My vehicle was a sports car, so i first ran some CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) test on the model. In simple terms, I rans some aerodynamic tests on it. For this there are so many software options, Cosmoworks has some excellent software, as does Fluent, which is what i use. I find it easy to use, with very useable and practical data. The data it produces can be used to calculate drag, and downforce. You can also analyze these elements on different parts of your vehicle, ie; your spoiler or wing.
Another program i use is Pro Engineer. It is primarily used for mechanical and structural engineering. I used it to analyze the strenght of different parts of the body(I also Used it in my chassis design).
After my analysis is done, I make any final changes to the body in Studio Tools, I then do some final surfacing of the model (perfects the surface of your model for final productiona). So now what we have is an extreamly accurate and detailed 3D model of your design. It has been tested for Aerodynamics as well as structural strength.
We can now proceed with some other aspestcs of the design which i will discuss in later article. please keep looking for my next artice to come soon

Steve Earl
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