AUTODESK X Hyundai Motor Group
What if cars could walk?
Pushing the boundaries of vehicle design and manufacturing
The world’s first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle
The automotive industry is known as an ever-evolving behemoth. With the increased use of technology, introduction of automation, and drive to disrupt, many automotive companies have been leaning into new innovations that push the boundaries of vehicle design and manufacturing.
A few years ago, Hyundai Motor Group found itself challenging the notions of a car’s mobility. From the simple question of “What would a vehicle be like if it could walk—and, more importantly, would anyone benefit?”, Hyundai’s Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences (CRADLE) launched its idea for the world’s first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle.
To bring the idea to life, Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio partnered with Autodesk Research to leverage advanced techniques in generative design and additive manufacturing to design, optimize, and manufacture prototype parts for two vehicles: Paraklete, which would transport goods; and Elevate, which would be large enough to carry people.
Autodesk Research doesn’t just strive to explore new ways technology can be applied to design and make challenges, they also look to prepare customers to be competitive in an ever-changing landscape.
Combining form, function, beauty, and cost efficiency
Tasked with designing and optimizing the chassis and legs for the vehicles, Autodesk Research’s Industry Futures team used their digital capabilities in modeling, rendering, generative design, and finite element analysis to design, beautify, verify, and simulate the components of the concept vehicle. To further validate the functionality of the vehicle components, the Research team leveraged the Autodesk Technology Centers’ fabrication capabilities in subtractive and additive manufacturing to create carbon fiber 3D prints of the legs for the Paraklete X-2, before creating a small prototype of the full vehicle.
Once the prototype was complete, the focus turned to the interior, tackling the seat for the Elevate vehicle. With an objective from Hyundai to design a seat that was lightweight, structurally stiff, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing, the Research team applied Autodesk’s generative design technology to create an open gyroid seat design. The design not only showcased a beautiful high performance lattice structure, which boasted a high stiffness to mass ration, it was also extremely lightweight. The spine design reduced weight by 50% and the wing design by 55%. In addition, the seat design allowed for manufactures to leverage the benefits of additive manufacturing by eliminating the need for a jig, as the parts were designed to interconnect requiring only a clamp enabling welding to occur right away. This innovative approach to manufacturing meant significant costs could be gained during mass production.
Striving for a sustainable future
With the successful completion of the vehicle prototypes, leg, and interior seat, Autodesk Research asked a question of its own, “In what ways could natural sustainable fibers be used in structural composite components?” With a motivation to identify places where sustainable materials could be used in the construction of the vehicle, Autodesk Research constructed a full-scale version of the Elevate leg using a composite mold fabrication process. With support from Autodesk’s Kilsyth Australia lab and the Autodesk Technology Centers, sustainable flax fiber coupons of various dimensions, laminate schedules and fiber orientations were produced bonded to metallic grips and subjected to shear, tension, compression, and fiber volume analysis. This process enabled the Hyundai team to better understand how sustainability could play a key role in the production of Paraklete and Elevate.
The work Autodesk Research has done in reimagining the design and make of Elevate has helped accelerate Hyundai’s vision to challenge how its teams design, make, and operate vehicles of the future.
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