Ford has become the first automaker to use ‘Gravity Sketch,’ a 3D VR tool that assists designers in creating new vehicles.
The new tool could give global designers the ability to use the same 3D virtual reality design space, helping improve collaborative efforts and real time decision-making.
For instance, a designer from Shanghai and another from Dearborn could step into a virtual design space together to make changes to a global vehicle design.
Both could walk around the 3D design, review it, and then make changes on the fly while using Gravity Sketch’s ‘Co-Creation’ feature.
Once finished, all that is required of the designers to do is remove their VR headsets and head back to their respective workspaces – often thousands of miles apart.
The new tool does away with traditional sketchpads and instead uses headsets and controllers which enable designers to step into virtual reality.
It does this by imitating gestural interactions through motion tracking that replicates sketching with pen and paper.
Designers can thus draw, rotate, expand and compress a 3D sketch.
It also allows multiple designers to engage in content creation, while making these real-time adjustments.
According to Ford, consumer purchasing trends differ in each global region. An attractive design in one region may not be as appealing in another.
The Co-Creation feature helps in bringing designers together from all over the world into one space and review a 3D sketch to make important decisions earlier in the design process.
”The Co-Creation feature adds more voices to the conversation in a virtual environment, which results in more efficient design work that may help accelerate a vehicle program’s development,” says Ford Design Manager Michael Smith.
The new tool also speeds up the process from weeks to hours, skipping the 2D stage and working with a 3D model from the beginning.
This enables a designer to seamlessly transfer to another designer’s point of view within virtual reality to see from his or her perspective.
Shifting to a model that designs and evaluates in virtual reality could revolutionize the entire manufacturing process, notes Ford.
It could drastically reduce development time, and allow for more 3D representations in the evaluation stage.
Image and content: Ford Media