Dassault Systèmes' software makes this possible - CATIA provides unified industrial design solutions to address the full design workflow - and for the creative conceptual phase of this workflow the company proposes a dedicated tool, CATIA Imagine & Shape.
When it comes to high quality surface modeling ('Class A' surfacing), Italdesign has over 15 years experience with ICEM Surf. However, over the last six months of 2009, Italdesign tested CATIA ICEM Shape Design (the next generation of the tool) working with pre-defined scenarios and use-cases taken from a list of user requirements. One main benefit was identified.
Integration between styling and engineering in terms of data exchange, CATIA workbench usage and IT environment harmonization was assessed. Advantages were identified in using the parametric associative functionalities, even though not all vehicle external and internal surfaces can be developed using this method.
The company found that many parts - such as the front grille, center console, air vents, headlamp and engine cover - could be realized following a pure virtual parametric design approach. Importantly, along the lifecycle of the process, the model can be easily modified by changing parameters rather than being rebuilt, therefore saving time.
As a consequence of these results, Italdesign decided on a smooth license migration plan. According to the company, having a common environment - such as the one Dassault Systèmes is promoting - encourages innovation and facilitates integration between styling and engineering.
Helping to meet new demands
The attention being given to such emerging solutions is increasing dramatically. An evaluation team featuring the major German OEMs was founded in spring 2009 with the aim of providing Dassault Systèmes with consolidated requirements, as well as to evaluate whether the tools were ready to be used in a production environment.
Italdesign-Giugiaro expects concept modeling tools to influence several aspects of designers' activities and to freeze designs more quickly. This is expected to give them a competitive advantage in today's market, where they are expected to provide clients with a larger number of proposals in a shorter period of time during the initial design phase.
This system also allows the easy translation of digital data into a physical mockup at the proposal selection phase, which is particularly important to Italdesign-Giugiaro: the company still believes physical models lead to better results when evaluating proportions, surfaces and curves.
Commitment to innovation
Although concept modeling tools have not yet reached a level of maturity where they are generating the same impact that digital pen-display devices had in moving from manual to digital drawing, they have introduced many interesting new functions, demonstrating Dassault Systèmes' efforts to meet new requirements arising in the styling domain.
Italdesign-Giugiaro is planning to carry out a new analysis and assessment phases in partnership with Dassault Systèmes, evaluating new tools that can be integrated into the design process in an efficient and natural way. It demonstrates a continuing commitment to innovation and creativity and a determination to remain a design leader, which has always been a distinctive mark of Italdesign-Giugiaro.
Find out more about Italdesign Giugiaro at www.italdesign.it