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Why Car Companies Still Use Clay Models: A Look into the Art of Car Design

May 10, 2023
3 minutes
Ferenc Boroczky
Founder and CEO of anet360

Car design is an art form that is both complex and intricate. It requires a tremendous amount of hard work, creativity, and attention to detail.

Over the years, car design has undergone numerous changes, with new technology and materials transforming the way cars are created. However, one traditional tool has remained an essential part of the car design process: clay models.

For those who love both design and cars, you might be familiar with the process of car design. The use of clay models in car design can be traced back to General Motors in the 1930s. Harley Earl, head of GM's styling studio, was the first to use malleable clay to turn sketches into full-scale models. This innovative approach changed the car design industry by simplifying and speeding up the design process.

Clay models are physical, three-dimensional models of cars that are made out of a soft, malleable material. They are used by car designers to bring their ideas to life and to ensure that their designs are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The use of clay models has been a staple of the car design process for decades, and it continues to be used by car companies today.

But why do car companies still use clay models, when there are so many other tools and technologies available? Here are a few reasons:

  • Firstly, creating a clay model allows designers to get hands-on with their designs. They can touch, feel, and manipulate the material to make sure that the design is just right. This is an important part of the creative process, and it allows designers to ensure that their designs are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
  • Secondly, clay models serve as physical prototypes for the final product. Designers can use these prototypes to test the design and ensure that it meets the necessary requirements. This is especially important when it comes to making sure that the design is functional, and that it can be built using the latest technology and materials.
  • Thirdly, clay models provide designers with better visualization of their designs. They can see the design from all angles, and make changes as needed to ensure that the final product will be exactly what they had in mind.
  • Finally, clay models are a traditional part of the car design process, and they continue to be used today because they work. Car companies have been using clay models for decades, and they continue to do so because it is a tried-and-true method that has proven to be effective time and time again.

Despite all the technological advancements in the car design industry, clay models remain an essential tool for car designers. They allow for hands-on creativity, serve as physical prototypes, provide better visualization, and are a traditional and effective approach to car design. As the industry continues to evolve, it is likely that clay models will remain an integral part of the car design process for years to come. Car companies will continue to rely on the timeless, tactile nature of clay models to bring their innovative designs to life.

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Ferenc Boroczky
Founder and CEO of anet360
With more than 15 years in design and technology focused on people, I've dedicated myself to growing a business that makes a real difference. I'm the Founder and CEO of Another Set of Eyes (anet), a company my wife and I built from scratch. We've come a long way without financial backing from investors, proving our resilience and innovation and developing a high-quality, yet user-friendly software solution. Our mission is to change how organizations gather and use important information, share insights, and train their teams.

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