If you sneak in the back-door of just about any company you will find they have their own unique way of developing products. And why not, they’ve had engineering practices created over decades that would make most people slip into a paper-induced coma.

Chrysler has their own special mix as well. It’s a fancy phrase called ‘Knowledge-Based Engineering’ and helped them stretch a Charger into a Challenger and cut development time to 21 months. It’s all set up to take advantage of what they’ve already developed.

So what, you say? Well, let’s see the news, toss out some unrelated speculation and then watch their competitor’s car transform.

The “knowledge-based” engineering (KBE) system compiles all of the company’s engineering knowledge and best-practices information from previous development programs. In this case, Chrysler engineers showed how, starting with a digitized Dodge Charger sedan — the basis for the shorter, two-door Challenger — the software morphed one car into the other. Along the way, the system redesigned every single component part that required a change. – Popsci

Wow, now that sounds like loads of fun. Automation like that is sure to cut a few hours from modeling. From what I do know Chrysler uses CATIA. CATIA has a product named KnowledgeWare that helps with KBE type situations. Whether or not this is what they actually use, I do not know.

Will Chrysler Switch to NX?

A more interesting topic is whether Chrysler will switch to NX. Fiat is now a minority stakeholder in the Chrysler car company. Fiat develops their cars using NX. So, one could assume that some in the Chrysler engineering department will be switching to NX. Or, one could assume that Fiat will switch to CATIA to use some of that KBE goodness Chrysler has ‘developed’ over the years. Anyway, kinda interesting.

Transformers – BumbleBee transforms to Camaro

As cool as cutting development time might be, having your car be one of the main transformers is much cooler. Chevy may have been behind the curve on development time, but they totally make up for it in overall aesthetics and form factor. Plus, in my opinion, it’s just a better built car. Anyway, here’s Bumblebee transforming.

Images from MotorTrend via PopSci. Thanks Butch!!


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.