Designing Tungsten | M


Nice to see you again....while you're in, let me show you how did I design and model Tungsten | M


Step 01

At very first, Tungsten | M was made for participating in a car design contest held by MotorTrend magazine ( in 2004. The theme for this design contest was 'Brand It Your Way'. Shortly, it was to design a car from a non automotive brand. If Nike built a car, what it should looks like to represent Nike? So for me is, what brand I would choose? I was thinking over and over and chose 2 brands, Palm ( when I was wondering, my eyes stroke to my Palm Tungsten | W ) and G-Shock from Casio ( my wrist watch :D ). But G-Shock car was dropped due to time restriction.

Ok, Palm...hmmm...Palm....Palm...Palm.....zing! Its logo! Simple but cool! Something stroke my mind, I could do something with this logo, but what?

Let's take a look at the logo we all know ( and we love ;) ...

I knew Palm brand image are techo, fun, all electricity things just we knew from our modern era. It's commonly used by young people who is busy pursuing career, people that bind to technology, to internet, a Y generation. So it's natural to design a city car. Right? ( No, turn left please...kiddin' :)


Step 02

From that logo and the requirement to design a city car, I came up with an idea....let's slap the wheels on the logo!

Images above are rough sketches using pencil. These were preliminary ideas of how it will looks. You can see that I already thought about upgrading packs ( Family and Country packs ) and I also thought of power pack and endurance pack, an internal combustion engine inserted to car's basic electric motor.


Step 03

From those rough sketches, it's time to move on to 3d sections...

As you can see, I modeled a simple rough 3d model, but already in correct scale and measurement. This way I could get right proportion. We are talking ( about ) 1.82 m wheelbase, 1.78 m height, 2.4 m length and 1.45 m width. The 'ear' that you see is construction handle. As I explained before, I need to mimic Palm's handheld common features, which are commonly get upgrading modules, i.e: presentation pack, power pack, memory slot, etc. So this car was designed to had upgrading packs also, which were Family pack ( So you can add more people ) and Country pack ( For those who love country journey ). The ear was designed to hold that packs. It has interlocking mechanism to guaranteed safety.


Step 04

Although previous model might be interesting for a designer, I believe normal people could not appreciate it :) Then I add form and volume so that most people can appreciate. As you can see at below images, I put a human reference to compare and study the ergonomics.

I keep add forms until it looks like this..

Now I was thinking more about its door. I wanted something unique, a door that not open commonly but opens in a unique way. Since it's a circular door, I was thinking to slide open but in circular motion. It's not easy to build because it needs to conform ergonomics of the people who enter the car and I need to think also about its strength.


Step 05

I was working it over and over to conform ergonomics in accordance with circular slide door. After that, I need to stop 3d modeling a while and start sketching it again.

Above image was my next thought to add details. You can see I add lamps, tyre guards, 4 sliding doors sections, etc. After a while, I began to think that it looks like Kaisar Ming from old Flash Gordon movie :D


Step 06

I continued working on 3d model. I changed the frontal looks, change tyre guard design, add more lamps detail, until I stop 3d modeling and starting sketching again like below images.

As you can see at above images, the design was more matured. I sketched some more details, and I began to fix the sliding doors section. Instead of 4 sections, I decided only 3 sections, looks like mercedes's star now. 4 was simply too much and 2 was much in conflict with ergonomics. When 1/3 section opens it become a windows and 2/3 opens it become the door. Fixed. Welcome to Palm Tungsten | Mobile ! :)


Step 07

Again I continued working on fixing the design from previous sketches, mainly adding details and also start to design its modular packs. I was thinking more options for the packs, but only Family packs and Country packs that done.

The Family pack was difficult to design and I'm still not satisfied with the result, until now. The door opening was too complicated if someone would build it. But that was what I can do in time restriction. I'll fix it if someone interested to build the real car ( Hello PalmOne? :D ) ...


Step 08

As for car shading and material and lighting, they're not much differences with my previous car. In fact, I simply took them and change the color...hehe...

So that's it folks, a brief explanations of how I designed and modeled this Tungsten | M...