Basic car Design

July 20, 2015
Basic car design
The angle of the side windows is known as tumblehome and is always angled in from vertical apart from very rare exceptions (eg. Fiat Multipla). The side glass is not curved from the front view. The roof also follows the principles of never being flat, and is usually curved in both directions for maximum strength.

plan shape

Nearly all cars will have curvature in plan view. Aerodynamics are the main reason for this, along with styling issues involved in hiding front or rear overhangs. The main area for curvature in the plan view is the glasshouse, the top half of the vehicle shape, where the windows are. The glass on cars is only ever single curvature. This is due to the lens effect of double curvature glass! The yellow lines show the usual shape of the glasshouse, tapering to the rear.

There are also some regulations governing the windscreen angle, which must never be less than 30degrees from horizontal. Plan view curvature can vary a lot on the bodywork of cars, with larger cars often showing much more shape than smaller ones. Large front and rear overhangs (overhang is literally how much the bodywork hangs over the front or rear axle line) are hidden by rounding the corners of the car in plan view.


The side view shows how the screen has no curvature from top to bottom. Also we can see how the main shoulder line of the car is horizontal, with a slight angle to the upper part of the bodywork. This slight angle is known as wedge, and is also a matter of aerodynamics.

Also note the slight wheel arch lip. This is nearly always present to finish the edge of the metal panel neatly. Some cars have large wheel arch shapes. Traditionally these blend into the body smoothly, but a more modern trend is to emphasize the join (Opel Astra, Ford Focus).

Solid Works CAR Design basic01. 3D-CAD idea modeling
Solid Works CAR Design basic01. 3D-CAD idea modeling
APB Basic Car Design Part 2
APB Basic Car Design Part 2
APB Basic Car Design Part 1
APB Basic Car Design Part 1
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