Accelerated design PROTOTYPING


VR, AR, 3D visualisations and animations are incredibly useful tools to evaluate and communicate design. However, they cannot compare with  full scale, accurate and interactive physical prototypes for verification, development of design finesse and to excite potential customers.

Vital have brought together a combination of technologies, skills and techniques into an integrated process that reduces cost, time and waste yet still delivers highly convincing models that simulate the quality and finish of the ultimate product. 

Technology is the first element of the process, Vital are experts in combining subtractive and additive manufacturing technology and have invested heavily in the latest equipment, including engineering and building their own 2.8M x 1.2M x 1M bed size large-scale 3D printer. This hybrid of processes saves time and builds models that are both lighter and more robust than traditional clay modelling processes. The pioneering use of recycled, recyclable and compostable material in model construction adds significantly to the sustainability ambition.

While the technology can help deliver better, faster and cheaper, a prototype must also be convincing, and this requires high quality detailing. Vital Automotive employ some of the finest engineers and craftsmen delivering advanced interactive electronics, lighting, hand crafted upholstery and cabin detailing that can make prototypes appear showroom ready.


User interface & creative electronics


Often the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful prototype comes down to feel: - does it ‘feel’ like a living breathing product or just an inanimate lump of clay?

Building a convincing user interface, and in particular a simulation of electronic systems and components, can make a huge difference. Programmed lighting displays built on custom electronics with production grade PCB’s make a car ‘pop’ from the exhibition stand and robust automated, interactive user interfaces for interior and exterior lighting, as well as physically moving components that are dynamic and addressable bring home that feel of the future with realism.

Vital Auto has an electronics and lighting department that specialises in software-controlled illumination systems designed to the latest standards which help bring prototype and production lighting systems to life.




As experts in advanced manufacturing technologies Vital Auto can take component and sub assembly designs from idea through to part manufacture utilising our low-tool and zero-tool processes to create a high-quality product and validation fixtures quickly and cheaply. The manufacturing process is so flexible that it is even possible to incorporate bespoke alterations on individual components.

Our skills cover Design for manufacture (2D+3D), design engineering, tooling & fixture design, additive manufacture of parts, tools and gauges, GRP and composite tools and parts for low volume, silicon tool gravity and pressure casting and CNC machining up to 3.5M x 3M x 8M.

Full cycle design


Our industrial design process is based on a strong understanding of design for manufacture whilst remaining sensitive to our customers brand DNA.

We are proactive and progressive designers with a strong process and we ensure that our design approach is always in line with the new product development cycle.

We work at all levels from user research and product definition guidance, through 2D and 3D design, styling and CAS/CAD development, always working hand in hand with both our customer and our in house engineering team. We instinctively fill in the gaps in your design programmes.


  • Design Research and Development

  • Industrial Design and Design for manufacture

  • UX / UI / HMI design and prototype with interactive electronics, software and interfaces

  • Automotive Design styling and concept creation

  • CAS and 3D surface generation (ALIAS / RHINO)

  • 3D CAD Engineering (Solidworks / CATIA)

  • 3D laser scanning and reverse engineering

  • Tooling and pattern Design and manufacture

  • Jigs and fixtures design and manufacture

  • 3D Printing of components, structures and vehicle components for prototype and low volume manufacture. Largest print area 2.8M x 1.2M x 1M

  • 3D printing of tools for carbon and composites

  • Manufacture of panels,parts and associated tooling in GRP, Aluminium and Steel.  

  • 3 and 5 axis CNC up to 8M x 3.5M x 3M of model board / Ureol / styrene

  • Clay model manufacture including frame manufacture, clay loading, CNC and sculpting.

  • Wind tunnel model manufacture 1:1 in both scratchbuild and adapted BIW.

  •  WInd tunnel support and fast turnaround of aero components

  • Design model manufacture automotive / aircraft / marine / architectural / motorcycle

  • Show vehicle model design and manufacture in drivable, interactive and static configurations

  • Full vehicle build capability for low volume

  • Paint and surfacing studio with 2x full vehicle spray booths, paint system and spray technicians

  • Creative electronic design and manufacture of OEM grade PCBs, software and control interfaces in ISO grade 7 clean room