Concept Car Comes to Life27 Jul, 2004 By: Cadalyst Staff
Skoda uses ICEM from design development to tooling design for its Roomster concept car.
Skoda's Roomster concept car, unveiled in September 2003 at the IAA Show in Frankfurt, Germany, was developed in record time through the extensive use of the ICEM Surf suite of surface modeling, analysis, and visualization software.
The Skoda Roomster is a compact family car. It's name reveals the design goal: Room is an interior that offers generous space and a great number of variations; (Road)ster expresses the dynamics and feelings of the styling study.
With a length of 13.3', the Roomster is comfortable to drive in urban traffic and easy to park. However, its 6' width, 8.9' wheelbase, and 5.47' height are the largest in its category.
The appearance of the body is intended to evoke a feeling of robustness, solidity, and safety. The asymmetric design features an unusually wide rear door on the passenger side only to provide convenient access to the sliding rear seats and easy loading and unloading of bulky objects. With the rear seats in the back position, you can load two bicycles through the wide rear door with its low sill. Folding the seats in their back position provides luggage space similar to that of a small van.
Surf for Skoda
Skoda used ICEM Surf throughout the car's design development, especially the interior, to create 3D digital surface models (figure 1). The resulting data was then used directly in the machining of the final physical show model.
Figure 1. Skoda designed and rendered the Roomster in ICEM Surf.
"One of the big advantages of using ICEM Surf in the design development of the Roomster's interior was that it enabled us to visualize the design on computer from the earliest stages," says Radek Simon, leader, CA-styling, surfacing team in Skoda design. "In addition, it enabled us to develop the vehicle's interior in parallel with the exterior design development, which saved us a great deal of time."
ICEM Surf's Scan Modeling ability enabled the Roomster development team to read point cloud data from 3D photogrammetric scans of the clay model straight into ICEM Surf (figure 2). The data could then be visualized and converted automatically into a digital surface model for further development and refinement. ICEM Surf was also used to create 3D surface models from the designer's original 2D sketches of the vehicle's main interior components, such as the instrument panel and door trim.
Figure 2. The Roomster development team read point cloud data from 3D photogrammetric scans of the clay model into ICEM Surf.
During the design development process, most changes and design modifications were made in the ICEM Surf digital modeling environment. ICEM's Realtime Rendering facilities generated photorealistic visualizations of the vehicle for design review and validation.
The use of ICEM Surf's analysis tools, such as highlights analysis, enabled the team to quickly determine optimum shapes.
Using the final ICEM Surf model data, interior components were machined from foam and then finished with appropriate laminates. The body was machined from metal, again using the ICEM Surf model data,and spray-painted to give it the finish required for the IAA Show.
"The use of ICEM Surf's scan modeling, real-time model visualization, and advanced surface modeling tools on the Roomster concept car project was invaluable to us," says Skoda's Simon. "We are a long-time user of ICEM's software. Without it, we would not have been able to develop the Roomster concept car and show prototype in the time that we did."