Car Design

NMCA Online Course

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Think like a designer: Car design

Automotive design focuses on the visual look or design of the car from product concept to refinement. As the stylist, you are challenged to design a remote controlled car used by 12 to 15 year olds by developing the proportions, shape and surfaces. The first step in the design process is to understand and define the customer’s needs. Then, turn your inner critic off and being brainstorming your design ideas using Sketchbook Express and 123D Design. Whether designing a Volkswagen bus or a Ferrari, the process remains the same.

car 11

In series of project videos, Phil Dolan, project designer, guides you through the process of designing a car using Autodesk Sketchbook Express and Autodesk 123D Design software. Follow the creative process and technical skills outlined in the videos to develop your skills by replicating the sample car design. After completing the sample car, you are encouraged to develop your own design and apply your knowledge of the software to generate multiple concepts for your original car design.

Inspire others and share yourcar design on the Autodesk Digital Steam Workshop.

Project Brief: Car Design
It’s all about the tools and the process!
“Design thinking” linked to a remote controlled car project starts by formulating and answering some key questions:
• What is the most popular scale for these cars?
• Some cars are powered by electric motors and others by gas. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of each power source.
• What are the key sustainable design principles that should be considered? For example how many batteries are required to power an electric car and can the batteries be recycled?
• How would factors such as age of the user, and boy or girl impact the design?
• Has a budget been established for the project?
• What is your schedule for completion?
• What inspires you most about this project?

For the car project, the first task is to develop basic skills in Autodesk® SketchBook® Pro and Autodesk® 123D® Design to develop concepts as part of the Design Thinking process. In order to accomplish this, students replicate the sample car design by repeating the steps presented in the technical videos and PDF instructions.
After completing the sample car, students are encouraged to develop their own design and apply their knowledge of the software to generate multiple concepts for alternative designs that could be used as described in the technical video. If time permits, students may want to come up with their own vehicle design criteria, for example Formula 1 style race cars or monster trucks. The bottom line is this: If students can expand and enhance their ability to combine the innovation capabilities of the software and the power of the design thinking process, then the goals of this project have been achieved.

Design considerations used in the example project are as follows:
• Purpose: Design a remote controlled car for the target consumer audience.
• Target audience: 12 to 15 year olds.
• Size limitations: Up to 420mm x 200mm x 150mm.
• Materials to be used: Recycled materials where possible.
• Scheduling requirements: 4 to 6 hours to complete all design phases
• Budget constraints: $150
• Code restrictions: Surface finishes must be non-toxic.

In this course, you will demonstrate knowledge of the following concepts:
• Seven stages of Design Thinking.
• The importance of sketching in the ideation stage of Design Thinking.
• The value of digital sketching to quickly produce design concepts.
• The basics of 2 point perspective.
• The use of color and shading to communicate 3D concepts.
• The user interface and essential tools for Autodesk 123D Design.
• Using sketches and primitives to create a digital model

After completing this project, students will be able to demonstrate growth in the following areas:

• Navigate the user interface for Autodesk 123D Design.
• Create the base car parts using sketch tools and primitives.
• Create 3D models using the construct tools such as extrude.
• Utilize modify tools such as fillet.
• Add context to the car design using the supplied material finishes.
• Pattern existing 3D models.
• Insert pre-built parts from Kits.
• Apply their understanding of Design and Technology for the design of a car.
• Apply an understanding of mathematic scale to the design of a car.
• Apply an understanding of 3 dimensional measurements.
• Explain the importance of conceptual design in the product development process.