Programs to Design a Car

By Deborah Woehr

Car design software helps hobbyists and professionals design custom cars.
i classic car image by Mariusz Blach from

You will find quite a few programs to design cars. The scope of their capabilities ranges from basic to robust. Hobbyists and professional designers alike will enjoy using these programs to create a variety of car designs.


Autodesk enables precision drawing for design modeling. It provides a comprehensive set of visualization and analysis tools so that engineers can design cars from concept sketches through Class-A surfacing.

Advanced sketching tools let you make perfect lines, circles and ellipses with predictive strokes. Manipulate your model with Dynamic Shape Modeling, rendering your variations without having to rebuild the geometry.

Adobe Illustrator CS5

Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard for precision drawing and illustration. The CS5 release contains a perspective feature that will allow you to build your car from varying angles. The Shape Builder tool allows you to render your drawings without having to access multiple tools and panels to get the result that you want. Resolution-independent effects allow you to add drop shadows, blurs and textures to your car designs.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended

Photoshop CS5 Extended brings new options for precision design modeling, thanks to the enhanced 3-D realism and material renderings. Import images from Illustrator to add special effects or enhance the car's design with shadows and chrome filters. Then create a 3-D logo with Adobe Repousse. The software also lets you work with scanned images and manipulate them until they fit your design concept.

Drive From Bunkspeed

Drive is a simple and fast interface that will let you create production-ready designs for product, automotive and transportation presentations for your team or your clients. You can import your objects, and then manipulate them until your presentation pops.

Modo Modeling

Modo is a 3-D rendering program that will help you design cars, airplanes, sculptures or anything that you want to make. Create custom tools with Toolpipe to add efficiency to your design process. The Retopology feature helps you create new meshes that will accommodate dense computer-aided design (CAD) or scanned datasets. Ultraviolet (UV) editing is less painful with modo because you will not risk wrecking your UVs whenever you make a change.

Car Sketch Tool

Car sketch tool has a drawing and sketching guide that you can use as an underlay in Photoshop or your favorite image editing software. The wheel ellipse guides will help you draw perfectly round wheels. Then change the diameter, track width and wheelbase to fit the car that you are drawing without having to buy expensive 3-D software.