86468 - Vehicle Virtual Design

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Know and understand the fundamentals of the Virtual prototyping through the systematic approach to a complete DMU (Digital Mockup) that from the design concept leads to the engineering of a vehicle (car or motorcycle). Work independently and original, and apply multidisciplinary knowledge to the virtual design and optimization of systems and components in vehicle engineering. The student will need to learn the most advanced techniques of interaction between real and virtual prototype through the principles of human-machine interaction. Developing the ability to work within a workgroup, planning and managing the activities needed to achieve technically valid project results.

Course contents

The course deals with virtual prototyping and offline and interactive simulation methodologies that allow the continuous support of product development in the automotive sector in the conceptual and pre-production phase.
In particular, the topics of the course are:

1) Virtual Engineering vs. Physical Engineering
    a) virtualization in the design process
    b) SBD-Simulation based Design
    c) Combined multiphysics simulations: FSI, etc ...
    d) the concept of Man-in-the-loop

2) Main techniques to support the concept phase
    a) sketch-based modeling and interactive modeling calls
    b) organic and mesh-based modeling techniques
    c) Reverse Engineering methodologies and systems
    d) Reverse Modeling for rapid geometry virtualization

3) Perceptual problems in the physical and visual field
    a) the concept of real and virtual perception
    b) the fundamentals of ergonomics
    c) cognitive ergonomics

4) Product development methodologies through
    interactive graphic environments
    a) foundations of digital interactive graphics
    b) the pipeline rendering
    c) 3D graphics hardware
    d) the main light simulation models
    e) static rendering and digital animation
    f) realtime rendering in the concept development
    g) Realistic and hyper-realistic visual principles for the
         product presentation and design review

5) Virtual prototyping techniques
    a) the Milgram continuum
    b) Virtual Reality
    c) Augmented Reality
    d) Mixed Reality of the real and virtual prototype
    e) Design Review in VR and AR

6) Physical prototyping
    a) TCT (Time Compression Techniques) e rapid prototyping
    b) Milling manufacturing and Additive Manufacturing for
        the implementation of the real prototype and its
         incremental changes
    c) development of the assembly sequence simulation
    d) disassembly simulation in virtual simulation systems

7) Maintenance and virtual training
     a) 2D and 3D interactive manuals
     b) Augmented Reality systems for personnel training
     c) interactive maintenance in Augmented Reality


All slides and support materials are available at:

Teaching methods

The course consists of a theoretical part, given in frontal mode in the classroom. At the link: you can download the slides of the course and the exercises developed in the exercises.
Practical applications will be assigned during the course and will focus on exemplifying the use of interactive systems for realtime simulation. The examples of interactive simulation involve the use of specialized hardware, provided during the lessons.

Assessment methods

The assessment of learning consists of an oral interview (single, non-group).
All the simulations and / or exercises developed will have to be completed and discussed during the interview. Two questions will also be asked on the theoretical themes developed during the course.
The vote, expressed in thirtieths, will be assigned as a whole: exposure of the exercises and oral exam.

Teaching tools

Teaching material, information notes, exercises, manuals and video material are available at the address: The transparencies and support material are available at the link:

Links to further information

Office hours

See the website of Alfredo Liverani

See the website of Pierluigi Zampieri