Portfolio engineering – early, conceptual, “packaging” geometry for evaluating trade off studies for a portfolio of midsize vehicles for Body in White (BIW) – the under structure of a vehicle, beneath the fenders, roof, doors, and undercarriage.

In early design studies, it is important to bring all of the sub-systems and packaging concerns to see if these occupants, systems, and sub-systems to make sure that all of these intricate interfaces can work together in a safe efficient way.  (Example packaging, systems and sub-systems: Occupants, luggage, seats, engine, steering, gas tanks, exhaust, more).


Traditionally a 2D paper drawing that represents the section cut down the center of the car from front bumper to rear bumper.  These are very large, 1:1 Full size vehicle drawings called bodyline drawings because of the 100 millimeter grid that helps to convey where everything is in a spatial sense.

Figure 1: Automotive 2D Bodyline Drawing (mockup)

While this method was revolutionary and the mainstay of automotive design for decades, some of the obvious downfalls when considering the latest technology available include:

  • Intensive manpower to create these drawings and avoid/update mistakes
    • Interesting fact: At one time they were actually “written in stone”, that is etched in a large piece of steel with special gold pens, and once they were in the stone (steel), there were no changes allowed!
  • Once created no changing, even if you found something downstream
  • No updates
  • No feedback mechanism for current program
  • Only shows content at a paper thin slice at the middle of the car cannot view content, collisions, interference, or issues on either side of this centerline

Proposed Solution:

Using the latest technology, we were able to:

  • Create a 3-D vehicle
  • Bring in 3D geometry and engineering data from other systems
  • Replicate the data with parametric (ability to drive geometry, systems, interfaces, and intelligence with the dimensions and attribute that define that geometry or system)
  • Add associativity, so if the axle moved, the wheel would move also, can add much more complexity that this example
  • Bring in packaging and system geometry to discern if and how it fit within the body geometry
  • Define interfaces and interactions between the body geometry and also the subsystems
  • Update the vehicle body and packaging in a small fraction of the time as previous technology
  • 3D evaluation instead of a section cut down the centerline
  • Continue to support the peripheral uses of the engineering content that was being generated
    • Design reviews
    • Bodyline drawings
    • System Engineering
    • Packaging
    • Portfolio evaluation (different sizes, engines, etc.
    • Analysis
      • Case studies
      • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
      • Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
      • Mileage
      • Weight
      • Crash worthiness
      • more


  • Greatly diminished the time it took for these studies:
    • Reducing reviews and decision making time
    • Diminishing out of synch data
    • Improved ability to evaluate feasibility
    • Improved training and understanding
    • Improved, prompt feedback mechanisms
    • Enhanced multidiscipline collaboration – many different needs could be discussed and evaluated with the same data at the same meeting
    • Reuse of models
    • Rendering
    • Templates with captured knowledge for next generations of vehicles
      • Rack and Pinion steering
      • Van door mechanisms
      • Seats in floor of vans
      • Fuel filler and tank shape
      • more

For detail or more information on this or any of our case studies or content please contact us at