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Inside Ford: Creating Clay Models

by Paul Strauss

Having recently visited Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters to see how they designed the 2015 Mustang, I was extremely impressed with the skills of the designers and modelers who brought the car to life. While computers play a major role in the automotive design and development process these days, almost every car built still goes through a clay modeling process to help bring 3-dimensional mockups to life. In fact, it’s the clay models which serve as the basis for the digital┬ámodels, not the other way around.

In this clip from Ford Europe, we get a look inside one of Ford’s clay modelling studios, insight from these talented artists on how models come together, and their importance to the design process.

While you might think that technologies like 3D printing could replace clay models, I’m doubtful – as the clay building process allows designers to sculpt and modify designs in near real-time, while a 3D model needs to be fully re-output to see the results.

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