Modeling Time for toy cars


Just would like your opinion on the modeling time for just surfacing of a toy car. Given that some designs may be more complex than others.

Also, would like some opinions from designers who work on these sort of things… Would a company value a designer that just does lots of sketches and presentation renders (IDEAS all day long), or would that person have to be the surface modeler as well?

I work fast with sketching, and rendering in PS. I can also model in Rhinoceros, however this takes time, and was wondering what companies expect as turn around for a complete model.

Obviously tooling is additional time…


Pencil Pusher

What’s the scale of the car? Are you talking about doing 3d data or a clay model? Clay can be way faster/cheaper than doing it digitally.

I make my living doing about 90% sketches and about 10% layout drawings. I know Rhino but have never been able to drum up a project to do it for. Companies many times will have Geometry Developers that are less expensive than designers (though occasionally more expensive).

Personally I think it’s a better process to have someone else do your 3D modeling. You can oversee it while you’re getting busy designing oher things. From what I’ve seen, most studios do it that way.

Hey Optimistic, thanks for replying.

The vehicle is 1/18th scale, probably injected molded ABS plastic. Opening parts/doors/panels and the like. Talking about Rhino medeling here, or something like Pro E, if it applies. Haven’t seen people doing toy vehicles in ProE…

Would like to see some examples.

Pencil Pusher


[:(!] nice [:))]

I know they use pro e a lot at mattel (as well as Alias, Geomagic etc. etc)
See if you can find a contact there.

I have done a lot of automotive surfacing in Pro as well as alias and the time requirements depend heavily on the amount of detail.

I believe toy companies get the body in white files and try to scale them down when copying a production vehicle and digitise models with Geo as a reference for concept work. There are many other ways to do it but these are the most common.

my opinium is that, the small cars (for example) are made using “polygon modeling” (not NURBS modeler as rhino is). Polygon is 0 precise, but quicker. For small part, where quality surfaces are not nessesery could be use…
I do not beleve that the people, doing for example the toys for “kinder surprice” use nurbs modeling!

this is based on something you’ve heard? or read?

I do not beleve that the people, doing for example the toys for “kinder surprice” use nurbs modeling![/quote]

Mattel uses nurbs.Ask them if surface quality isnt important.

All of the major toy companies use NURBS modeling as well as parametric packages like SolidWorks and ProE. The toy industry is just as high-tech and concerned with quality and design as any other industry.

This is a really interesting thread. I have played around with the idea of modelling my own car in SolidWorks. I always wondered how toy companies get the CAD data so precise. In a previous post it was mentioned that the toy companies get ‘white files’ of the bodies and then scale them. What are these files? Files from the car manufacturer?

I also wondered how much the toy companies have to pay the car manufacturer to use the car name and design, or is there normally some kind of 2 way agreement here?

Interested to know, can anyone shed some light?

Cheers all!

I’m also in the progress of building a 1/10 car body and since I don’t know any of the software mentioned I wonder how much work it actually is to get a printable model?
It’s more or less a aftermarket product I’m working on and building it from scratch sounds like my only option. :wink: