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Thread: Can a CAD drawing/file be made from a few pictures of an existing car

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    Smile Can a CAD drawing/file be made from a few pictures of an existing car

    I am considering starting a project of building a body/plug concept car. At first I am just going to make this as a one of a kind car. I have about 4 pictures of concept car that was never put into production, can a cad drawing be made from front , rear, and side pictures of this car. I would like to use this car as a base for my design and make some changes as I do the build-up. I have produced a few one off cars in the past and have done it in a primitive sort of way. I would take a picture or drawing , enlarge that image and have that image copied onto a transparent sheet. I would take the transparency and hold it at arms length while trying to find a donor car that has a similar wheel base and windshield angle. After I came up with the correct donor I would Have the car image copied onto a sheet of graph paper. I would do some math to figure what size graph square would be needed to make a full size graph drawing on a sheet 4' x 9' sheet of cardboard. I would do this also for the front and rear sections. I would use these large drawings to figure the shapes that I needed to make from pouring foam onto the striped down donor car. Then I would sculpt, sand and grind till I go the basic shape I was looking for . I would build one side and then make patters that I flipped over to use on the opposite side. A CAD drawing Would be a real luxury if I can get one made.
    Is there anybody here that can give me some advice about a CAD drawing for this project ? Thanks !

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    Been there - Done that but in the same canoe. Not only would I like a CAD drawing for my concept but the g code files so can cut panels on the cnc router. Hopefully we can both find someone to do it ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by CARBUILDER View Post
    Been there - Done that but in the same canoe. Not only would I like a CAD drawing for my concept but the g code files so can cut panels on the cnc router. Hopefully we can both find someone to do it ?


    I hope someone can chime in here with some help. I have always been able to get the job done , but I am hoping to save some time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fauxknowitall View Post
    I am considering starting a project of building a body/plug concept car. At first I am just going to make this as a one of a kind car. I have about 4 pictures of concept car that was never put into production, can a cad drawing be made from front , rear, and side pictures of this car. I would like to use this car as a base for my design and make some changes as I do the build-up. I have produced a few one off cars in the past and have done it in a primitive sort of way. I would take a picture or drawing , enlarge that image and have that image copied onto a transparent sheet. I would take the transparency and hold it at arms length while trying to find a donor car that has a similar wheel base and windshield angle. After I came up with the correct donor I would Have the car image copied onto a sheet of graph paper. I would do some math to figure what size graph square would be needed to make a full size graph drawing on a sheet 4' x 9' sheet of cardboard. I would do this also for the front and rear sections. I would use these large drawings to figure the shapes that I needed to make from pouring foam onto the striped down donor car. Then I would sculpt, sand and grind till I go the basic shape I was looking for . I would build one side and then make patters that I flipped over to use on the opposite side. A CAD drawing Would be a real luxury if I can get one made.
    Is there anybody here that can give me some advice about a CAD drawing for this project ? Thanks !
    Yes, it can be done, although to an extent. It's almost impossible to get 100% accuracy. Depending on the CAD program you are using, you should be able to import the different views onto different planes. Then you can sketch your reference curves on each plane, rotating the model from view to view. Once the curves are complete, you convert them into either surfaces or, if your program allows it, make solids out of them. From there, you tweak or modify your surfaces and/or solids until you are satisfied with the model. Again, this is just the very simplified explanation.

    It's a LOT of work, but yes it can be done. I modeled a Countach like this once. It was quite a challenge, and it wasn't AS accurate as I would have liked, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

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    I should have added that once you have your model complete, there are number of different ways to turn the model into profiles or templates. This varies from program to program. I've seen it done with Sketchup, SolidWorks, Inventor and a number of other programs. I use a program called ViaCAD. It's probably as close as you can get to a consumer's version of SolidWorks and it's very affordable. It also works with a wide range of file types so you can most likely export your model to a system with a 3D printer, if you so desire.

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    Check this site out: Autodesk 123D - 123D Catch turn photos into 3D models It's Autodesk's 123D program for PC or Ipad/Iphone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LamboIllinois View Post
    Check this site out: Autodesk 123D - 123D Catch turn photos into 3D models It's Autodesk's 123D program for PC or Ipad/Iphone.

    Lamboillinois, Thanks for the link I will give it a try.

    I realize that 100% accuracy is not likely , but that's ok because I want to make some adjustment/changes to the original picture . I will share my experience with this forum.

    Any other options or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

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    I think of car designs and try to recreate them using panels from other 3D cars... I stretch, bend and squeeze those panels as someone reshaping aluminum sheets into a design... its amateurish 3D modelling but for me its a great alternative to paying a 3D modeler every time.
    I did this technique on Fugazzi's car design and can also do another public release if any concepts are interesting and not too hard to remake. MadMechanics - Fugazzi design 3D model remake - YouTube


    Car modelers hangout at this forum... I have no idea how much they'd charge SMCars.Net - Car Blueprints Forum
    Follow my designs on Facebook fan pages. http://www.facebook.com/AutoArts

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    Hey ArashB, Thanks for your post ! II think you do great work. I have sent you a PM

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArashB View Post
    I think of car designs and try to recreate them using panels from other 3D cars... I stretch, bend and squeeze those panels as someone reshaping aluminum sheets into a design... its amateurish 3D modelling but for me its a great alternative to paying a 3D modeler every time.
    I did this technique on Fugazzi's car design and can also do another public release if any concepts are interesting and not too hard to remake. MadMechanics - Fugazzi design 3D model remake - YouTube



    Car modelers hangout at this forum... I have no idea how much they'd charge SMCars.Net - Car Blueprints Forum
    ArashB, Thanks for your PM. I will get in touch with you about getting a 3D model. I like the rear of the One cars and It may work out with what I had in mind. Thanks again. Tommy

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