Background – “Digital Design is the only alternative,” explains Volkswagen design chief Klaus Bischoff, why the design of modern cars takes place almost exclusively on the Computer. Only thanks to this way of working is the huge variety of models of today is at all possible. Dave Schneider0 comment modern cars are extremely complex products. Without a digital Design, you would be not feasible. PD

Each car starts with a hand-drawn sketch. “Designers think with the pen,” emphasises Volkswagen’s chief designer Klaus Bischoff, the importance of this first draft. “The Designer has a picture in his head that he needs to make it presentable. There is no way of classical drawing.” Most car designers make but, in the meantime, digital on a Tablet, as well as the entire design process is today only thanks to Bits and Bytes is possible. Many of the clay models, which were polished by hand work to be done, hundreds of detail drawings, which were formerly drawn in Thousands of hours of work by Hand – all this Work is now handled by intelligent Software. How a car should look like, define to be in front of people. However, the implementation of Computer power.

The benefits of a digital car design are immense. The first sketch can be continuously developed, without the need to change the media without starting a hundred times new. The various design studios around the globe can simultaneously work on the same object. In the digital world there are no distances. From the first draft more concrete drawings, and soon, a three-dimensional image, the already surface structures, folds in the sheet metal and the appropriate light shows occur so quickly. This photo-realistic representation is used as the presentation object to the new car model to present to the Board, to show it to marketing experts or test groups.

At the beginning of each of the cars a drawing. Meanwhile, the is created by Hand, but digitally on a Tablet.Photo: PDDer first draft is currently being further developed, in part, by several of the on the globe Design Teams at the same time.PDDas result is a photo-realistic 3-D model, with the engineers on the outside and the inside of the car and also under the virtual sheet metal work.PD1 / 7

the implementation of The first drawings to a digital 3-D model of the new vehicle is done with the “Cloud Modeling”. The designers work in virtual reality with VR glasses on his head and with virtual tools in the hands. From a front and a side view in 2-D is used to create a three-dimensional model, which is worked to the smallest Details. “These models are so realistic, you can smell the new car scent almost,” says Bischoff. A crucial advantage of this is that the engineers can work with these virtual 3-D models, interior and exterior of the vehicle and the virtual sheet. Of the aerodynamics on the material load to the number of the Metallic Flakes in the individual layers of the coating, the engineers can simulate anything virtually, check, and Refine, without the need for tools or real models to build.

“These digital models in the development process the Basis for the reference of all,” says VW Design chief. “We have in the group 415 Designer, and about 10’000 engineers, all of which work with this data base.” This is not only in the design, in technical development or in the wind tunnel, on the basis of these models, the feasibility will be evaluated in the production. Where you previously had to invest in tools to see if a sheet tears or not, you can simulate the digital today. “And where used to be consuming a 1:1-had to be made models for the wind tunnel, we can calculate the today, in the Computer.” Individual clay models although there are, even today, you will no longer be shaped by Hand, but due to the digital 3-D model from a computer-controlled milling machines manufactured.

The time saving is striking. Bischoff shows an example: While in the past for the determination of the desired shape of the characteristic honeycomb radiator grille of the Golf GTI, hundreds of models in months of work would have had to draw and sculpt, do that today, Algorithms in real time. “In our product portfolio, we track up to a hundred projects a year, at the same time, all of which must lead to the goal”, the head of Design. Only thanks to the digital working method, the variety of models that offer large, car manufacturers today, is it even possible. In spite of the time savings of the entire design process will take at VW is still up to two years, because: “A modern car is an extremely complex product.”

New digital Design is not, the car industry designs and develops their products for years on the Computer. “Today, however, it is no alternative”, says Klaus Bischoff – the development of modern cars would not otherwise do at all. For electric cars there are, incidentally, a separate design path in the case of Volkswagen. But without a digital way of working, it would have taken much longer and much more resources, until these new models are on the market. Klaus Bischoff smiles. “If I have to make a lot of wood and, to me, someone puts a hand saw and a chainsaw, I saw of course the engine.”

Drawn or real? Thanks to clever Software, the designs appear so realistic that you can smell the new car scent almost. Visualization: PD comment please Login to comment