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How Does Ford Design Their Models So Perfectly?

While most of what goes on in our design studio is top secret, we’ll reveal one interesting fact that allows us to create such beautiful vehicles. Look at any Ford model and you’ll notice the fine lines, unique details, and quality craftsmanship from every view. To ensure every detail is present, designers create clay models of all Ford models! Not just small clay versions, we also create full-size! It’s not quite the same seeing the car on paper or on the computer; our designers want perfection and physically seeing the car in person makes this a guarantee. Full-size clay models permit engineers and designers to catch potentials issues in the interior and exterior of the vehicle, especially if it’s not apparent on digital screen.

Building clay models is not a new practice. Believe it or not, this was regularly done in the 1930s. As technology advanced and building models on the computer became the norm, many carmakers found they were turning out with lackluster vehicles. This is all because of the lack of hands-on interaction and being unable to effectively evaluate styling.

“We’re constantly creating surfaces on the computer,” said Lloyd Vanden-Brink, Modeling Manager at Ford Design Studio. “We mill that surface out of the clay and then we model the changes by hand and scan those changes back into the computer.”

How Much Clay Do We Really Use?

Think about a craft or a project where you used clay. How much did you actually use? Use this rough estimate in your head and then think about the Ford F-150. With this monstrous truck in mind, we can say these models require a lot of clay! In fact, Ford designers use nearly 200,000 lbs. of clay every year to construct full-size vehicles. For instance, the Ford F-150 Raptor is about 1,935 lbs. of clay.

2018 Ford F-150

Fortunately, the clay can be reused and recycled. This practice is less harmful to the environment and still permits Ford to building the beautiful cars everyone is familiar with. Moreover, the type of clay Ford uses is a combination of waxes and oil with filler, but no water like traditional ceramic clay uses. Technically, this clay doesn’t really contain clay at all.

We pride ourselves on presenting fantastic Ford models that allow you to look forward to getting in one every time! Come down to Ziems Ford Corners or contact us at (888) 375-9581 to schedule a test drive.