Conceptual design is normally undertaken as a support service to a build team.
VNF Designs undertake both function engineering and surface model development to supply CAD data for direct manufacture in whatever material the customer requires.
This is usually performed to very tight timescales; something we specialise in being able to achieve.
Due to the nature of this work discretion is critical so details in this section are omitted and only three niche examples are highlighted.
New York Motor Show vehicle 2014
Brief: To virtually engineer seven full size seats in three rows for three modes of operation for the a concept vehicle for launch at the New York motor show. The interior must incorporate working electrical adjustments, mood illumination, multimedia, safety features and fully usable cushioning.
Solution: Working within the interior envelope we engineered the usual formal functions of three-row seating, but incorporated independent adjustment all round as well as table-fold for row 2 centre and complete forward on rows one and two outer seats to give the client the ability to demonstrate (amongst others) a fully functional 'threatre-mode' with centre table. The interior displays were fully operational and the seat pockets features integrated ambient lighting.
Special Purpose Vehicle
Brief no.1: To devise an assisted mechanism for a folding seat, to carry two persons, capable of being used as a conventional seat in the deployed position and also as a prop-seat in the folded position;
Brief no.2: To devise a damped, folding flight of steps: suitably upholstered, to span the required height evenly and within overall weight restriction, capable of being deployed quickly and elegantly by an attendant not part of the processional party.
Solution: Working within and only within the client's approved exterior surfaces (no mechanism visible), we engineered a billet and fabricated aluminium seat structure and assembly; using a precision linkages, utilising gas rams for lift assist and deployment damping for the rear seats. Strict weight targets necessitated intricate pocketing and minimising the parts count to reduce mass but maintain strength in all components; critical for the potential forces in both positions.
Solutions no.2: This involved even more intricate machining - and to meet the weight figures a high-magnesium content alloy was prescribed - to minimise all unnecessary weight. Because of the potential loading experienced at full extent, every care had to be taken to ensure that crushing forces within the hinge points were well distributed and ensured both safety and long service life.
Design Study - Full-size styling model
Brief: To expand on the client's styling surfaces and give them volume, define an assembly order which hides all fixings and design & engineer in mountings, stiffening ribs, bosses, adjustment shimming and bracketry. This must be assembled onto a VNF designed subframe(s) which can be attached to the client's chassis. The vehicle will be mobile and self propelled (therefore clearances and allowances must be made over a static vehicle), lighting will work as per a production vehicle.