CLAY MODELLING: SHAPING THE FUTURE

McLaren is known for pushing the boundaries of technology, but one part of our design process remains proudly traditional.
 

 
Ever since we launched the first carbon fibre Formula 1™ car in 1981, McLaren has been synonymous with cutting-edge materials and design. It may come as a surprise, then, to find a corner of the McLaren Technology Centre where the hand and the eye still rule over computers – a place dedicated to the ancient art of sculpture.
 
There is a team of around 35 people working in our in-house styling studio, and six of them are clay modelling specialists.  One of those modellers, Daniel Wright, explains why clay is still important: ‘You can look at something on a screen as long as you want, but when you actually see it in the flesh – nothing beats that.  Its the modeller’s job to bring sketches and computer renderings to life, using wood-handled tools and lots of warm, brown clay.'
 
Clay, then, is an integral part of McLaren’s design process. Computers have their place, and wind tunnels are essential for high-speed performance cars, but at McLaren, creating a beautiful car is still an art.

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