Why car designers stick with clay – It’s Not Clay

BBC – Autos – Why car designers stick with clay

“The first thing to know about this marvelous medium is that it isn’t actually clay. “Clay is different waxes with some filler in it,” says VandenBrink. “That used to be sulfur, and more recently small glass beads, but it’s mostly waxes. Honestly, it’s hard to know exactly what’s in it, because the formulas are proprietary.” There are half a dozen companies that make plasticine clay suitable for full-scale design modelling (a few car companies make their own blends), and they deliver their product to design shops on flatbed trucks by the pallet-load. In a typical year, Ford goes through about 100 tons of the stuff, formed into hard, extruded cylinders about 3 inches in diameter. When a designer is ready to build, a lump of it is heated to about 66°C (150°F), and applied.”

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