Tonight I was cruising around on a couple of design sites (you know the type Coroflot, DeviantArt, etc.) and it occurred to me that someone was missing from their communities.
Design is not only for designers, but rather it is also for consumers, enthusiasts, and especially for those engineers who like to build cars.
Something we have created in the Local Motors Community is a collection of designers and engineers.
(One of the original Designer Icons from local-motors.com)
(One of the Car Builder Icons from local-motors.com)
Just recently Victor, one of our Local Motor's Charther Members, was looking for feedback on his Ferrari concept.
Here it is:
It is an excellent design and he has received 10 "Green Thumbs" and a great deal of design comments. Such transportation desing feedback has been really well received, but it is perhaps not the most special part of the comment stream. What is unique about his feedback on Local Motors community is the commenting he has also received of an engineering nature.
Take, for example, this comment he recently received from another community member, WiKid:
WiKID 1 days agoRE: Aero; needs a provision for a spoiler or a sharper angle on the rear (ala Porsch Boxster). Transitions just behind side windows and back of the roof are good areas to explore aero features. In general, anything that looks "fastback" generates more drag. The slopes away in front of the rear wheels could cast a large wake, but it's anybody's guess based on how dirty the air is coming off the front tires (which would require a sophisticated CFD model anyway). Biggest aero question in my mind is how you exhaust all the air sucked in by those scoops. I would love to see a rear shot with a provision for engine box exhauster (assuming mid-engine with the aggressive scoops back there) and a diffuser built in. Throw some vents on the top of the rear wheels, and let the rear wheels breath to the back, and most aero guys will have enough things to tweak to make the car slippery enough. Cheers. ::man, I wish there was a way I could load pictures that were examples of all this stuff::
Now Victor can take these engineering and design comments back to the "bank" and return with an improved design that appeals to both the builders and the enthusiasts. Where else can you find such a vibrant and well-represented community of like minded car lovers? Perhaps deep in the halls of Toyota, BMW, and Ferrari, but I'll wager that none of us will ever get to go there....and what's more Toyota, BMW, and Ferrari will never get the breadth of design and advice to be found only at Local Motors.