Shapediver designer Ezquiel Lopez gave an interesting demonstration of a real-life customization application possible with paramteric design software such as Grasshopper. He created an online Rim Configurator that lets you rapidly define your own, personal rim design and even download it as a 3D printable file. How you would go from there to a metallic, functional rim is entirely up to you. The bottom line is that you have the file and you can manufacture it if you want to.
Lopez says that he looked for independent rim manufacturers that could help his car stand out from the crowd. What he found out in his price range completely disappointed him. “Uninspired designs created by uninspired brands. If I could’ve just designed my own… I eventually gave up and kept my stock rims, hopeless.”
“What my younger self would’ve wanted to find was a brand that would’ve let me play around with size, number of arms, colors, etc. It certainly would’ve given me that feeling of authenticity and originality that I was craving for after owning such a common car,” Lopez says
Fast-forward over a decade and that passion for great rims hasn’t dialed down a bit. A few months ago he came across the idea of generating a rim configurator that could allow anyone to play around with a “master design” until they were comfortable with a final custom version of it and eventually manufacture it.
The challenges with this project were clear: a simple-to-understand, efficient rim generator that anyone could use. A concept that could make real companies consider integrating a parametric definition into their sales process.
So he contacted Paco Ortiz, Parametric Design expert and owner of Grasshopper + Rhino Generative & 3D Parametric Design and told him about the idea. The result was the configurator embed here. An amazing example of great, simple design and functionality. As mentioned before, you can download a 3D-print ready .stl file with one click.
You can read about the Rim Configurator creation process here. The conclusion is that while this rim version doesn’t provide a safe and reliable road-ready version, it certainly proves a point: it is possible to offer a great level of customization given the right tools.