Ford Designing Vehicles Using 3D Virtual Reality

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Move over Ironman, Ford also has a cool floating 3D computer too.

Ford has become the first auto manufacturer to work with 3D Virtual Reality tool, Gravity Sketch, a design tool that allows for a more human-centered approach to the development of new vehicles. One big benefit of this 3D VR tool is a co-creation feature which makes it possible for designers from across the globe to collaborate on the same design in real time.

Two designers can do a virtual walkaround of a 3D design, making changes as they go without the need to meet face to face. This can make for far quicker product development and the possibility to get input from anywhere around the globe in an instant.

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Ford says that consumer purchasing trends differ in each global region, meaning an attractive design in one region may not work in another. Co-Creation gives designers from different regions the opportunity to come together in one space and review a 3D sketch to make important decisions earlier in the design process.

They can even see the design from another designer’s perspective if needed. ”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 Gravity Sketch program is now being experimented with across five global Ford design studios and shifting to a system that designs and evaluates in virtual reality means that a design can be built in a 3D model from the beginning, skipping the 2D stage altogether.

"Our collaboration with Ford designers has enabled us to get immersed in their creative process and discover ways to help fine-tune this application to better suit their needs so they can build the best possible vehicles for their customers,” said Oluwaseyi Sosanya, Gravity Sketch CEO & Co-founder.

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