DESIGN

At Hydra Design Labs, we are passionate about shaping the future through functional design. We lead each project with a strategic design approach that blends extensive input from our clients with our commitment to innovation – but our abilities extend far past the initial concept. We offer design services that span the entire scope of a project, from ‘ideation to fabrication.’ A typical project will start by reviewing our clients’ business and goals, including any research findings that help us understand market position and trends – all of which inform design decisions. This leads to a design ideation phase – exploring a wide range of sketch possibilities and refining these design ideas, narrowing our approach until we select the best concept to move forward with before we proceed to 3D data and other digital design tools.

Our specialized team of design veterans leverage over 30 years of OEM experience designing both exteriors and interiors of production and concept vehicles for some of the world’s top automotive brands. Unlike many design firms – our experience extends far past the sketch pad or modeling phase, with our skill set really kicking into full gear through full production programs.

Beyond the automotive field, our team’s experience extends to a range of other design projects including consumer products, boats, motorcycles, movie concepts and graphics.


CAD

DESIGN SURFACING

Hydra specializes in Automotive Design Surfacing. Often referred to as Computer Aided Styling (CAS), our team is unparalleled when it comes to OEM Automotive surfacing with a vast amount of experience across 30 years of OEM programs. The Hydra team are all experts in their fields, but our specialty is translating design intent into 3D. Part of our team includes several hybrid designers specializing in CAD that help bridge a seamless gap between sketching in 2D and translating those ideas into 3D.

CLASS-A SURFACING

One area that our team excels at is Class-A Surfacing for OEM production programs. Our team has experience working on countless Class-A programs for some of the worlds most famous OEMs. One area that sets Hydra apart is the seamless connection between our Design and Class-A teams. Having Design, Design Surfacing, and Class-A Surfacing all under one roof dramatically improves the efficiency and quality of design translation while reducing transactional time – allowing for reduced project timelines.

CFD

Using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools, we are able to simulate wind tunnel testing digitally – even before physical modeling or fabrication stages. This process optimizes aerodynamics, saving valuable project time and budget, and allows for real-time design exploration.

CMF
DEPARTMENT

Hydra is equipped to provide complete CMF design (Color, Materials, Finish) for any production program, including craftsmanship work. We have a dedicated team of experts and equipment to provide a consistent, high-quality look and feel to any new product development.

MODELING &
FABRICATION

What sets Hydra apart from other design firms is our ability to bring a rendering to life through in-house modeling and fabrication services. Since physical properties are essential to any new automotive shape, clay remains the medium of choice for modeling because of its ease of machining and hand-sculpting. Our Southern California facility features three full-size 4×6-meter surface plates and 40% surface plates, quarter-scale and eighth- scale tables – offering clay modeling for full size and scale models.

The clay model is a critical part of our automotive development process – these models allow us to assess design details and proportions that may not be so evident in computer data. The finished clay model can be painted or evaluated with a Di-noc film and can even be fitted with trim, vents and grills, working in conjunction with our rapid prototyping and composite engineers. We can create clay models for any project requirements, including interiors or exteriors at either scale or full size.

We also offer in-house hard modeling, composites, metal fabrication and painting and assembly – enhancing every aspect of modeling for prototypes and functional vehicles.


PROTOTYPING

With over 30 years of automotive OEM design experience, the team at Hydra Design Labs can go beyond design and modeling to produce a complete vehicle prototype. Our in-house engineers, metal fabricators, machinists, composite material experts and technicians turn a completed 3D engineering model into a fully realized prototype vehicle. The prototyping process involves producing functional scale or full-size models of the product, which must be evaluated for proper fitment of components, mechanism functionality, human factors/user experience and overall form. Engineering revisions are made based upon the findings of the prototype testing and subsequent prototypes are produced to optimize functionality of the final product. With the same team of skilled designers and engineers overseeing the entire project from start-to-finish, Hydra Design Labs is a one-stop solution for all automotive OEM prototyping needs.