On the Job: Flexible CAD System Drives CarTunes Art Project

14 Mar, 2005 By: Cadalyst Staff Cadalyst

Bernard Mould uses Kubotek KeyCreator to manufacture sculptures for community exhibit

A first-of-its-kind public art exhibit celebrating a region's history and passion for cars and music is getting a boost from CAD software. Bernard Mould of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, used Kubotek's KeyCreator (formerly CADKEY) software to design and manufacture the automobile-shaped sculptures that are the basis of the CarTunes on Parade exhibit, a joint effort between the cities of Windsor and Detroit, Michigan. Approximately 150 car sculptures will be exhibited in the two cities from June through September 2005.

CarTunes on Parade is modeled on the success of similar displays in Europe and North America and is designed to add color, whimsy and fun to public spaces, celebrate local artists, provide an educational component and draw tourists. The automobile-shaped sculptures will be artistically interpreted with a musical theme. They will be displayed along the riverfront in Detroit and Windsor as well as in Detroit's cultural center, MidTown and Foxtown areas.

KeyCreator combines geometry-based design and modeling technology for the design of tooling, complex machinery, fixtures, molds and dies in a variety of product-development industries including automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, sports equipment, medical devices and many more. The KeyCreator engineering product line includes multidimensional design and drafting, NC programming and reverse engineering capabilities. The geometry-based foundation enables localized feature editing and deformation techniques that are particularly useful for design teams working with advanced designs of solids models.

Bernard Mould, a long-time CADKEY customer and early convert to Kubotek KeyCreator, is a precision mold specialist shop, providing complex tooling solutions. Established in 1969, the company has developed designs and molds for a variety of plastics products in a number of industries, including automotive, sports equipment and consumer goods.

Bernard Mould served as project manager for the design and manufacturing portions of the public art endeavor. Unlike similar programs in other cities, CarTunes on Parade allows artists to easily customize the "blank canvas" design, including painting, decorating, cutting and bending and adding fabricated parts -- a boon to the artist but a challenge for the manufacturer.

Bernard Mould designed and manufactured the 300mm miniature concept, or maquette sculpture as well as the full-size version that would lend itself to easy modification by the artist. To participate in CarTunes, artists submitted their modified maquette for consideration by the CarTunes jury, and selected concepts were then put up for sponsorship. Once sponsored, each artist will develop the full-size version for exhibit.

"We are very committed to our community and felt CarTunes on Parade provided another great opportunity for us to contribute to the closely knit cultures of both Windsor and Detroit," said Ed Bernard, president, Bernard Mould. "Having used CADKEY and KeyCreator for great number of jobs and projects, we knew KeyCreator would give us both the flexibility and the 3D capabilities required by this project. Since we had the expertise and the right tools, we were confident that we were more qualified than anyone to handle this job."

The full-size sculpture forms designed and manufactured by Bernard Mould measure 7ft long, 4ft tall and 3.5ft wide (figure 1). The hollowed-out forms were molded in two halves of 3/16"-thick fiberglass with a coated finish. The finished two-piece mold weighs 200lb.

Figure 1. Bernard Mould used KeyCreator to design and manufacture the basic form for each CarTunes sculpture.

In addition to creating the mold and manufacturing process for the maquette and full-size CarTunes, Bernard Mould designed and submitted its own musical interpretation of the generic automotive shape, called Soul Singer (figure 2). The molder used KeyCreator to customize its sculpture, adding eyes, hubcaps and other unique features.

Figure 2. Ed Bernard stands next to his company's unpainted Soul Singer sculpture.

"KeyCreator is used worldwide for many vital projects, including automobile parts, aerospace technology and medical devices," said Bob Bean, COO, Kubotek USA. "However, this is one of the few times that a customer used KeyCreator to help better the community. Beyond that, Bernard Mould's innovative use of KeyCreator for CarTunes on Parade is a perfect example of the future of manufacturing -- being able to easily customize products through the design and manufacturing process."

Official CarTune CoinBank souvenirs (figure 3) are available for $10 each.

Figure 3. A coin bank -- a miniature of Bernard Moulds' Soul Singer sculpture -- is on sale to raise additional funds for the CarTunes fund-raiser. The actual CarTunes sculpture is seven times larger than the bank.

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