University of Twente Student Theses


Design and modelling of the NextEV Supercar steering wheel

Groen, D. (2016) Design and modelling of the NextEV Supercar steering wheel.

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Embargo date:20 May 2099
Abstract:NextEV is a Chinese electric-vehicle startup, working towards a mass-market battery-powered car at average consumer price[1]. To showcase their potential, NextEV is launching a 1000+ bhp electric supercar, expected to debut in 2016[2]. One of the most difficult parts of the car is the steering wheel. Not only does it need to have a high quality design level, it also needs to have perfect ergonomics and multiple functions, all combined in a form that shares the same language as the rest of the interior. This requires knowledge in all of the design facets from project planning to market research, product analysis, ergonomics, sketching, clay modelling, digital modelling and design evaluations. This thesis discusses all these steps that were made during the design and modelling of the NextEV supercar steering wheel. The project was divided into two main phases: the analysis and the design phase. The analysis phase defines the design language of the steering wheel by visualizing the design keywords, materials and market position in mood boards. After multiple meetings a function analysis and a global function mapping have been made. Together with an ergonomic analysis of multiple steering wheels, these items form the programme of requirements. The design phase was divided into three stages, each with their own physical model. The initial sketches, renders, ergonomic clay handles, digital models and spoke proposals have lead to the first milled foam model. During the second stage the package was finalized and the design converged to a model that is ergonomically correct. 3D scans were used to create data from the physical master model. A design direction was chosen at the end of this stage, combining features of my design and a design of another designer. The last stage finalized the design and made the digital file master. An Alias model was built which later on can be used during the manufacturing. Details were also modelled. The project finished with digital design changes based on the feedback of the final review. The result was a digital release to the engineers in order for them to design the internal components of the steering wheel. Looking back, the design has come a long way with a nice and balanced end result and an enormous learning experience. After this project, the design will come back multiple times for small design alterations to solve some manufacturing limitations. This however is out of the scope of my project.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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