BMW Example


Deconstructing the BMW Vision Next Frit Line


The BMW Vision NEXT frit pattern is a great example of algorithm design

I would like to emphasize this is showcasing the workflow behind how I approach building algorithms. It is meant as a quick look into the process not a step by step guide.

I decided to rebuild a simplified example of the BMW Vision NEXT. When I am working inside a studio I tend to write and refine my algorithms for weeks. The following is a quick "sketch" algorithm. It took me about half a day to write. I will use my own car as an example. Here is the finished result.

First we need to build an input surface that will guide my algorithm

Export the surfaces as IGES and import them into Rhino. I open up Grasshopper and with a few short commands we have a diamond grid as a base to start

Then I use the outer edge of the ribbon as a way to measure the distance and remap the scaling.

Here is where it gets complex. I extract the edges of the diamond and make them individual triangle. Then I shorten the edges to control my gap after that I add simple curve fillet. This gives us the basic pattern found in BMW's great design

The most powerful part of this work process is the fact that once you have written the algorithm, you can customize it and change the parameters in every step of the process instantly. If the glass changes or if the outer parameter of the frit moves, all you do is update the ribbon surface. Here the same exact algorithm with some numbers moved around.

Since we are using nurbs it is very interchangeable between Rhino and Alias. Here is a close up after I import it into Alias and trim dived the surface.