In the past, we created any design or prototype manually. It made the development process time-consuming and tedious. Moreover, there often errors occurred what led to additional costs. To avoid such negative consequences, the computer-aided design (CAD) software has been developed.
This software simplifies and digitalizes the whole design process. It has finally replaced the traditional drawing board. The CAD software is used in engineering-based industries such as manufacturing and industrial design. One of the sectors where it’s been most useful is automotive.
The CAD software is highly beneficial because it allows securing the storage of data copies, drawings, and blueprints. Furthermore, it includes interior design, mechanics, architecture, modeling, animation, and engineering.
This software does more than its name implies. In addition to the actual design, it can support product data management, analysis, and much more.
In this article, we’ve listed some of the CAD applications in the automotive design, as well as specific examples.
More Advanced Surfacing
Looking back at computer graphics, it could only handle circles, cubes, lines, and flat surfaces at first. However, that’s not enough for automobile design. Vehicles have subtle curves, and blending between panels is extremely important.
Advanced surfacing, as well as the ability to handle any aesthetic issues in automotive engineering, are the main advantages of computer-aided design. It also provides templates, which replace the designer’s need to build construction elements, add surface to them, and modify the results afterward so that it respects manufacturing constraints.
Moreover, they allow designers to define and design specifications for the new vehicle, including filleting radii and minimum die angle values. The computer-aided design system automatically generates high-quality surfaces that would meet all those specifications by sweeping variational sections along with 3D curves together with their connections.
CAD templates allow designers to specify up to three die angle constraints and the angular position between beams. Furthermore, they can connect two beams automatically, as well as join two sections with a different number of vertices.
Clay models were replaced after CAD came with the ability to create good enough realistic views of automotive designs. The virtual designing continues to improve as the VR is now a thing.
CAD provides many 3D design features for better blending and chamfering of edges. What’s best is that it can apply different tolerances of any edge and calculate the appropriate ones while connecting the surfaces.
Automotive’s thin-walled parts require a highest-quality system capable of handling all the topology changes that can occur in hollowing or thickening operations. These systems not only handle all requirements but also support mold and die design environments. They can use tapering functionality to deal with intricate parting lines.
The New Ford GT40s
Any fan of classic cars will know what we’re talking about. The Ford GT40 was originally designed in the 1960s as a racing car. What makes it so special is that it won the Le Mans 24-hour race on four consecutive occasions in the years spanning 1966-69.
Many lovers of similar cars were unlucky to get their hands on one, and now they’re costly. With that in mind, an Australian company was established to build replicates of such models, but optimized for the 21st century.
First, they wanted to provide engineering support especially to GT40 owners, and afterward, they began producing their replicate vehicles.
A variety of modern tools are needed to bring legendary cars like GT40 in the 21st century. Combining innovative solutions like computer-aided design have allowed such companies to cut down design processes in half, which results in a reduction in development costs.
When it comes to design, the end product is not a drawing. It’s the part ready to go out the door. In the realm of innovations and advanced tooling CAD is a must for the automotive industry.
Manufacturers of such systems should support basic generative machining disciplines and tool path generator. Moreover, they need a broad spectrum of numerical control post-processors driven by approved design geometrics.
Today, instead of making prototypes from various kinds of solid materials, they could be virtually created in a shorter time, thanks to advanced technologies like 3D printing and virtual reality operated by CAD.
Faster, Lighter and Cost-Effective
Computer-aided design has been a substantial part of automotive design processes for over a decade now. The replacement of clay or wood models with virtual ones was a step forward to the digitized manufacturing process.
We’ve listed four outstanding applications of CAD in the automotive industry. Probably, there are many more significant evolutions in CAD that are yet to come, so if you’re interested in automotive design, you need to stay tuned.