Archives for : April2010

Automotive Design

Welcome to the design section of Car Design Online. This area includes information on most of the pre-production elements of automotive design. These include the creative elements of vehicle development, such as sketching and modelling, as well as other important considerations, namely aerodynamics and ergonomics.


In this section we take a look at the science of aerodynamics and how manufacturers use CAD and wind-tunnel testing to perfect new vehicles.


An increasingly important aspect of automotive design, this section on ergonomics and anthropometrics looks at design for human form and behaviour.


Whether virtual or actual, realising a design in 3D has always been a critical element of vehicle development. From clay to CAD, we look at the different methods and practices.


From a designer’s initial idea to fully resolved renderings; we take a look at how ideas are realised in 2D.


Image courtesy & © Ford Motor Company

Aerodynamics is a highly refined science that vies for position with other key vehicle design considerations such as styling and ergonomics. It’s importance with respect to the operating efficiencies of a vehicle is undisputed but manufacturers must steer a balanced path between the push an pull of the many other aspects of a car necessary to sell it to the consumer.

Aerodynamics started life as much as an art as a science. Early experiments used fish as the inspiration. Their sleek form was considered important to facilitate fast movement, but the precise details were not yet understood and developments were largely based on trial and error. It was as a result of this approach that the ‘teardrop’ form was conceived.

Aerodynamic Considerations

A summary of key principles and basic rules to follow in order to improve aerodynamic efficiency when designing a vehicle.

Pressure Sensitive PaintAerodynamic work on the 1960s Ford GT programmeWind tunnel testing for modern vehicles

Automotive Production

Welcome to the automotive section of Car Design Online. This area addresses the demands and requirements of design for manufacture and covers key considerations such as materials, processes and production feasibility.


Materials A look at some of the key materials used in automotive production including staples such as steel and more advanced composites such as carbon fibre. Manufacturing Processes From body-in-white to road-going vehicle, this section looks at the processes used in automotive manufacturing.

Global Production Figures

Car sales/production figures by manufacturer

The Mercedes SLR McLaren uses the latest carbon fibre technology Resources Siemens Automotive Production Portal

The Welding Institute