Today, in order to be competitive in a fierce global car market, higher demands are placed on the Perceived Quality (PQ) of the products. The end customer’s visual impression of fit and finish are one of several factors influencing the overall PQ. When assessing the PQ of split-lines, the assumed geometric variation of the ingoing parts is an important prerequisite for trustworthy visualization and for correct judgments. To facilitate early decision making in conceptual phases, new demands are set on virtual tools and methods to support the engineers.

In this study, a method for early evaluation of the impact of geometrical variation on PQ of split-lines is proposed. Starting from an exterior styling model, mesh morphing techniques have been used to distort the exterior model according to measurement data acquired in running production. Morphing techniques have also been used to adopt previous structural design solutions onto the new styling, in order to make an early assumption of the assembly stiffness.

The used method is described and adopted in an industrial case. The study shows that the presented technique can be used to create continuous and correlated datasets. Non-rigid part behavior can be included in early PQ evaluations, even if final CAD/FEA engineering design models do not yet exist.

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