Posts in category: ‘Automotive’

Where 3D Printing fits in the automotive sector

Previously, I have considered, generically, where 3D printing fits in the manufacturing enterprise — where it is used daily, where it could be used more, and some of the great potential it holds. In this post (and in upcoming posts), it seems fitting to examine specific vertical markets where 3D printing technology has disrupted the status quo. I’ll start with the automotive industry — mainly because it was one of the first sectors to seriously embrace the tech back in the early 1990s.

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Interview with Dirk van Braeckel, Head of Design at Bentley Motors

I was lucky to speak with Mr. Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design & Styling at Bentley Motors. Here's what he had to say about his job at Bentley, the tools he uses to do the fine work, and the future of the luxury automobile business.

Mr. Dirk van Braeckel began his automotive design work with Audi working on external design after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 1984. Then, in August 1999 (after Volkswagen purchased Bentley a year earlier from Vickers plc), van Braeckel joined the British based company Bentley as Director of Design & Styling. In 2008, van Braeckel was awarded the European Automotive Design Award by Designers.

Bentley Continental GTC

Lauri: Bentley has developed into a brand representing the ultimate in luxury and quality. How do you integrate that into each car designs?

Dirk: It is Bentley’s Ultimate Luxury and Quality that our designs have to communicate and a perception of Quality is fundamental to the way I design.

We design with authentic materials for the interior such as top quality leather, real metal, real natural wood, lamb’s wool carpets and so on. We also strive to use each material in a way that makes the most of its natural properties – wood for surfaces that should feel “warm” to the touch and so forth. Ultimately, we design the ambience of the environment you enter when you close the door of your Bentley. It requires a combination of aesthetic design and craftsmanship to deliver this.

For the exterior it is important to create a “Must Have” factor. The impression of relaxed power, build quality that is second to none, simplicity and character all create a desire to admire and own such a car as a Bentley. Its understatement and sportiness creates admiration rather than envy.

Lauri: How long was the process of design for the Bentley EXP 9 F (shown below)?

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Fateh Merrad, Turning GrabCAD success into freelance opportunity

His Audi R8 is the number one top downloaded automotive model on GrabCAD. His CAD models have attracted over 36,000 downloads.  His tutorial on creating car surfaces has received over 8,300 views. Algerian engineer Fateh Merrad is seemingly unstoppable. We sat down with Fateh, one of GrabCAD’s top users, to discuss his work, successes, and future in freelance CAD modeling. 

GC: Since your last GrabCAD interview back in February, your presence on GrabCAD has continued to skyrocket. How does it feel to be so influential?

Fateh: I am really honored. Hands down, GrabCAD is the most amazing platform for designers, engineers and creative people. It brings together passionate people to advance innovation without borders. For instance, we do have in North Africa an amazing pool of creativity and using GrabCAD as a sharing and social platform, I foresee a revolution in innovation and creativity. But, we are just scratching the surface in North Africa. Since I joined GrabCAD, I have had simply hundreds of talented people, designers, engineers and companies around the world contacting me directly; it is really constructive, impressive and honoring.

GC: How do you think GrabCAD has affected your professional career?

Fateh: I was working as a freelancer before joining GrabCAD. Since joining, it really amplified the scope and impact of my creations. I have been involved with amazing projects that are not only virtual but are also commercially viable products.

Picture Fateh

GC: What freelance projects have you worked on through GrabCAD?

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Fateh Merrad, Creator of popular model “Audi R8”

GrabCAD engineer Fateh Merrad from Algeria uses GrabCAD almost everyday and his Audi R8 model is one of the most downloaded models. I took a moment to chat with Fateh about his model and about his background.

GC: What's the story behind why you modeled the Audi R8? 

Fateh: Before starting to talk about the Audi R8, I want to say that modeling of cars is a great pleasure for me and for people who love this area. The history of this model was the second undergraduate year when I started studying CAD modeling. Our study was limited to design and Semple when I loved modilisation in Solidworks. I started doing research on solidworks when I discover the techniques of surface modeling that made ​​me want to model as a hobby. My first project was the Audi R8. It was difficult, and I worked quite hard on it.

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Stelu Harson, Creator of popular model “NRJ”

GrabCAD engineer Stelu Harson’s model NRJ is one of the most downloaded models on all of GrabCAD (over 8,300). I took a moment to chat with Stelu about his model.

GC: What's the story behind why you modeled the NRJ?

Stelu: I started drawing cars when I was just a small boy, obviously with pencil and paper. I wasn't a big artist :-) but I always tried to improve. I started to do 2D drawings, mostly of the side and front of cars. Then I tried to make them on paper in perspective and this was a big improvement back then. During university I had the first contact with 3D CAD programs. This was a great opportunity to carry on with my passion for automotive design by make them digital.

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