Thanks to this digital design process, the Bugatti Divo was developed in half the time it used to take.
Bugatti has innovated the auto industry over the years, from setting speed records to changing how cars are designed. Most recently, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ became the first car in the world to break the 300-mph barrier, albeit in a non-production form. Bugatti has also been embracing 3D-printed components, becoming the first automaker to 3D-print titanium exhausts. Since 2016, Bugatti has increasingly relied on new virtual design processes with photorealistic 3D animations.
Half of the Bugatti Chiron's design was produced digitally, but this increased to 90 percent for the Bugatti Divo. "With the Divo, we proved for the first time that we could use the digital design process to develop a breathtaking shape into an extraordinary vehicle that is ready for the prototype stage within just a few months," said Ahmet Daggun, Bugatti's Director of CAD and Visualization.
This would not have been possible in such a short space of time with traditional clay models. According to Bugatti, this virtual design process takes 50 percent less time than traditional methods while also cutting costs by around a quarter. VR data goggles also enable designers to see a realistic view of the virtual model.
Things were very different in the analog age. New vehicles were drafted in drawings, which were then transformed into 1:4 scale clay models. After gathering feedback, designers would then spend months tweaking the design of 10 different clay models before applying these changes to a new 1:1 scale clay model. Further changes would then be implemented before the final design was approved. Using virtual reality and 3D models, Bugatti now develops its hypercars faster and more precisely than ever before.
"Today, we are the leading manufacturer to apply this form of development in such a systematic way, and not just in the hyper sports car segment," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "Throughout our tradition spanning over 110 years, Bugatti has always proven that it is able to choose the right path on the basis of new and courageous ideas."
"As the manufacturer of the world's most outstanding vehicles, we are obligated to always develop new ideas, both in terms of technology and design. We owe this to our tradition and our customers." Design artists can now digitize initial drafts and virtually develop the car's shape on special ultra-powerful computers.
"We subsequently refine the curves, adapt surfaces, and balance the interplay of light and shadow. We generate a VR presentation from the completed digital data record, which comes stunningly close to seeing the real thing," Ahmet Daggun explains.
Using monitors or VR goggles with a high depth effect, Bugatti employees can assess the virtual vehicles and apply design changes within a day. This took up to two weeks in the analog age. Bugatti then produces a physical data control model from rigid foam when the digital model's design has been approved to get a physical visualization of the car's shapes and proportions. Any requested changes are manually visualized by the designers on the model and incorporated in the digital model. This digital process saves at least five months of development time for Bugatti. As a result, the Bugatti Divo was developed in just six months instead of one year.