A car’s fascia, or instrumental dashboard containing speedometers, odometers, and the like, is often a signature design element of a car. Traditionally, fascias are modeled first with clay (industrial plasticine) and then with computer-aided industrial design applications. The controls behind the fascia are usually separate, analogue controls and gauges.
While an intern at Bosch, Mechanical Engineering senior Cole Witte was tasked with a more complicated project: to create a customized fascia that integrates digital controls, to display how Bosch’s electronic hardware would be integrated into a vehicle.
First, Shawn O’Grady used the HandyScan laser scanner to create an accurate model of the current Camaro fascia. After working with the scan data to create a cleaner model, Cole created a 3D CAD rendering of the current fascia design. He could then edit, sculpt, and integrate his design with other parts of the car, before tackling the mechanical integration and wiring digital controls into the redesigned fascia.
Traditionally, a customized fascia would have to be hand-sculpted by an artist, then modeled in a computer, and then manufactured. By using an accurate 3D scan and modeling software, the process is streamlined so that parts become easier and cheaper to customize, modify, and reproduce. If so inclined, one could feasibly choose design features of the fascia, as well as what car-related data they want displayed—and because that original scan data and modified models still exist, there is the option to choose again, further down the road.
<Photos courtesy of Cole Witte>
By Josephine Keenan