One of the more important areas on a car body are the flush and gap conditions,
this for aesthetic reasons as well as engineering concerns. Making sure all of the parts fit together whilst ensuring they don’t have so much slack that they leave large unsightly gaps that look and feel sloppy to the customer.
For a long time this could be done by engineers with output that consisted of graphs, tables and text. Visual tools have been used as well for mechanical engineering systems such as powertrain components. But what about exterior body panels?
There is a tool that aims to do just that: Aesthetica by Icona Solutions.
What it allows the engineer to do,
is as follows: 1. define the tolerances using GD&T on each part 2. assign a sequence of assembly (how each part is fitted to each part, and in what order) 3. see absolute worst case or statistical worst case results, visually
Tolerances that are shown to contribute less than expected can be increased, benefiting manufacturing costs. On the other hand, tolerances that are shown to be too loose can be tightened, increasing the quality of the car. This in an effort to not break the bank, as without tools like this many parts would be too tightly toleranced leading to unnecessarily increasing costs that ultimately nobody benefits from.
You can see this in action at the website of Icona: http://www.iconasolutions.com/Demonstration_Videos.aspx
You will need to register but this is totally free of charge.
Now, the question remains: should this be in the hands of the designers/stylists or engineers? In my opinion: both!
Design wants could get lost if only engineers do these kinds of validations, whereas engineering needs could be lost or complicated if it was purely up to designers/stylists.
Despite them being two very different worlds, if both can communicate with each other visually, on a digital mock-up. There is a good chance a better end product will be the result. Of course this is all still on the computer and the results Aesthetica will give you, will only be as good as the inputs you enter into the system. It’s just a tool. But if used well, it’s one hell of a ride!
Thank you for your time,
Kevin De Smet – “Advanced LA Student”
To Learn Alias Automotive to Industry Entry level has been made easier.
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