Drawing Cars - Hand Sketching Vs 3D Modeling

Sunday, May 20, 2012 0 comments
In the age of computers, virtual reality and 3D modeling, why are hand sketching skills still such a vital part of the car design process?

Hand sketching is still the best way of getting ideas out of the designer's head and onto paper quickly and efficiently. 3D modeling requires manipulating software to get the result that the designer wants. This process is often slow and cumbersome. Manipulating your hand to draw the line you want it to draw is much faster and easier.

To build a 3D model of one concept can take days. To do a hand sketch of one concept can be done in an hour or two. This means many ideas can be explored far more efficiently and less time is invested into each idea. Often when concepts are presented for consideration they are dismissed instantly. If little time has been invested into that concept, then little has been lost.

Even in high end design programs, such as Alias that many automotive designers use, the base drawing is done by hand on a digital tablet. Even though the drawing is done directly onto the computer through the tablet, it is still the designer's hand making the moves. As this is most direct way to bring an idea from inside their head to life.

Remember, computers are just another tool like pencils and markers. If you want to be a car designer, practice your freehand car drawing skills and you will not only produce more concepts but better designs as well.

5 Cars With Weird Designs

Friday, May 18, 2012 0 comments
There are some cars that can take your breath away with their overwhelming looks. On the other hand, there exist some cars with designs that are very mundane and ordinary, while some car designs can amaze you with their oddities and unusualness. Here is the list of 5 cars with weird designs:

1. Mercedes-Benz Count Trossi SSK

Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz has named this "Count Trossi" SSK after the "aristocratic" Italian race-car driver Count Carlo Felice Trossi. This car actually has a very stylish set of wheels, despite having 'weird car design'. This car had been extremely successful in the Le Mans, Monaco, and the Mille Miglia.

There are only four original models of the Count Trossi SSK in the world and each is a 'holy grail' among car collectors. Recently one model from 1929 sold for US$7.4 million!

2. Peugeot Honey-B

The Peugeot Honey-B like its namesake looks pretty much like a big honey bee on wheels! It seems like a Peugeot car designer must have got stung by a honeybee one day and he decided to immortalize his 'honeybee experience' and came up with this strange car.

Like bees, it is aerodynamic, but unlike bees, it is a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This Honey-B boasts of seats with techno-cool hydraulic arms that help various preset adjustments which means they retract automatically to your preferred position once you're seated!

3. Hondo Puyo

The Honda Puyo can be termed as the "Weird-great Puyo". The little information we found on this 'weirdo' car tells us that this is a concept car which runs on hydrogen fuel. Unlike the fuel-cell powered Honda FCX, the Puyo prides on "no sharp edges" and is covered in soft silicone so that it can absorb light collisions. If you are planning to ride this, you have to use a joystick instead of a steering wheel.

4. Nissan Moon Buggy

Fueled by imagination, designer Robert Hoffmann drew up this Nissan Moon Buggy concept for an auto magazine. This weird car is very unlikely to go into production. This strange Nissan Moon Buggy has been inspired by the Lunar Modules.

The car has oversize rear wheels that are supposed to provide more efficiency in maneuverability. Not only that, when it reaches high speeds, Ailerons are deployed for increased aerodynamics, Ailerons are commonly found on fixed-wing aircraft!

To be honest, the car looks like a cross between an alien and an iPod.

5. Nissan Pivo 2

Who says no car designers design cars for gals? The Nissan Pivo 2 is just not a 'girlie-girlie' car concept but a very urbane one in that! It is powered by advanced compact lithium-ion batteries and features a unique rotating cabin, which means no reverse gear is required! The four wheels are powered by electric engine and can turn through 90 degrees to allow the Pivo 2 to drive sideways as well as forward. The Pivo 2 looks as if it has come from the Pixar Studio!

Why The Craze About Car Design

Sunday, May 13, 2012 1 comments
Have you ever wondered why there is new car design coming out in the market every day? Have you ever stopped and asked yourself this question? Many car manufacturers are spending huge amount of money and time to come up with new designs. While it is a fact that car design is an important part and parcel of car manufacturing, the same do seem to apply very much when it comes to making purchasing decision. Exterior car design has played a part, to some extent, in aiding purchasing decision of the consumer for some time now. Until very recently car buyers have not been keen in the interior design of car. Much of the decision to buy a car has been based on certain performance metrics such as quality and reliability, vehicle appeal, service satisfaction, and ownership costs.

In a survey conducted by JD Power, an American firm which conducts comprehensive annual surveys of car owners to see who is happy, and who is not, with their new car, it was found that "the way in which technology is integrated into new car design, especially interior features and controls, is now considered to be as important to car buyers as defects and malfunctions". Additionally Joe Ivers of JD Power says that "New vehicles today are often packed with new technologies that unfortunately can be complicated and frustrating for the average consumer when their integration is not well executed. This could explain why many car buyers have not been keen in the internal design of the car as opposed to external design.

In 2004 it was found that more and more Americans are paying attention on how their cars are designed. The way a car looks has become very important to car owners. The saying that "you are what you drive" has become more important than ever. Car designers have become celebrities overnight depending on how their design is performing in the market. The craze in car design has become intense such that car manufacturers have been rushing to link up supermodels and celebrities in an effort to up their sales

Newest Volvo Car Designers from Taiwan

Thursday, May 10, 2012 2 comments
Volvo cars are making a big splash in China's car market. The Volvo Car Corporation of Sweden sent out some major designers like Steve Harper to Taiwan to enlist some of the country's local car-designers. The Ford Group decided to recruit some Taiwanese car designers for the Great China Car Market.

The recruited car designers from Taiwan will be allowed to design new car models for its Sweden designer center. Volvo has made this plan specifically for the Great China Car Market. New car designs will be made by these Taiwanese designers for the distinctive and oriental taste of the targeted consumers.

500,000 to 700,000 Volvo cars are expected to be sold out internationally this year. This includes around 50,000 units for the Asian market which includes Taiwan, Japan, mainland China and other Southeast Asian nations. Since the demand for luxury cars are rapidly rising, car makers from the Volvo Car Corporation are aiming to sell 50,000 to 80,000 units of Volvo cars in Asia in 2007.

Apart from that, Volvo is continuously deploying its manufacturing, product design and parts procurements including its Volvo C70 auto parts in Asia. Also, as a component of Ford's global part procurement system, they have the responsibility of lowering the production cost.

According to Volvo Car Taiwan officials, Volvo is number three among the country's imported car brands. Still, Mercedes-Benz and BMW tops the chart. However, they are adding more efforts to meet the consumer's taste in Great China. This is one of the reasons why Volvo is employing talented car designers from Taiwan to develop new car models for the specific market.

Steve Harper has been visiting Taiwan several times. According to the officials, Harper was extremely impressed with the designing performances of Taiwan's local designers. These designers are from Ford Lio Ho of Motor Co.'s design center. Volvo have appropriated NT$10 million or US$305,810, to continuously hold a series of car designing seminars with the Taiwan Design Center. This is a proof that Asian talents are becoming more globally competitive in terms of car designing.

Soon, these designs will be made available in the market. Finally, Volvo car designs will be more preferable for Asians