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2015 Mustang: Designed With Clay & Tape

Last Updated 12/2/2016 by Jeff Jimenez

Watch the Ford Exterior Design Team build the 2015 Mustang with clay and tape. These artists create an amazing life sized model of the new S550 Mustang!

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Automotive manufacturers have been using clay to mold and build prototype vehicles since back in the dark ages (well maybe not that long but I couldn’t think of a better analogy). Even today clay is being used to produce life-size models that the design teams can see, look and touch. It is amazing that even in this digital age of 3D models and computer aided design techniques we still use this “Old School” tech to design vehicles.

The Ford exterior design team used clay to assist in final production of the 2015 Mustang. In this video you will hear from some of the Ford design team talking about how simple tools such as tape and clay played such a huge role in designing the new 2015 Mustang. You will also get a good look at the S550 Mustang clay model with the black tape lines on it. These tape lines definitely highlight the sharp edges of the new Stang!

Ford says they use about 155 miles of tape per year for the process. The oil-based clay also allows for paint, and metal finishes to be applied to the model once the shape is finalized, giving a final finished appearance to the project. The clay model sculpture, and the tape refinement process is done for every Ford design.

Don Creason Video: How Tape And Clay Played A Role In Designing The 2015 Mustang

2015 Mustang: Designed With Clay & Tape - 2015 Mustang Clay Model

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2015 Mustang: Using Tape To Design

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Published on 2014-02-10
Watch as the Ford Design Team uses simple tools such as tape to produce the 2015 Mustang. These guys are super creative and talented. Their attention to detail really comes out in the new S550 Mustang. Be sure to check out all of our 2015 Mustang News here: http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/posts/tagged/2015-mustang
We use tape primarily for communicating ideas on paper as well as on the model itself.

Sometimes just to make sure that we're all on the same page and we're talking the same language.

We use the tape on clay, but prior to that, we use tape to create drawings. We would stretch Mylar on large boards and do a full size tape drawing. The coolest thing about tape is that it can be used as a language to communicate between the designers and the modelers.

A lot of it is kind of unspoken. They lay out the tapes and we sketch in clay with our tools down those lines.

We use tape primarily because it's a usable medium and it's a reusable medium. You can peel tape off and restretch it back on.

We can create the line which goes all the way from front to the back, and only that precision-- you can't get it with your hand or with your knife. You got to do it with tape.

If you're in sync with the designer, usually it goes without saying. Typically, we go for lunch and we come back and we find tape on the car, which basically says, OK, that's great, but here we've got some changes to do.

These days we use large screens to look at the car. We might project a full size image of the vehicle that we're working on digitally onto a PowerWall screen.

I think it's very necessary still to have that experience, this walk up experience that you have the clay in front of you, because you can actually feel it. And you can put another tape and you can walk around the car, and every single different view you look around the car you see it from a different dimension. The history of using tape in our industry, since I think car designers started working on the cars in clay models, which they found that is the best way to shape it and to work it, I think tape started to exist. So I think it comes hand in hand.

2015 Mustang: Designed With Clay & Tape Tech Info