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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday September 21 2017, @10:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the use-it-to-design-a-holodeck dept.

Ford says it is using Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset to help design cars, alongside clay models:

Microsoft's HoloLens headset has been slowly pivoting towards commercial markets over the past year. NASA, Volvo, Lowe's, Audi, and Volkswagen are all testing HoloLens for various reasons, and now Ford is expanding its use of Microsoft's headsets after an initial pilot phase. Ford is using HoloLens to let designers quickly model out changes to cars, trucks, and SUVs. This allows designers to see the changes on top of an existing physical vehicle, instead of the traditional clay model approach to car design.

Ford is still using clay models, but the HoloLens can be used to augment additional 3D models without having to build every single design prototype with clay.

Also at CNBC and Engadget.

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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday September 22 2017, @12:13AM (2 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday September 22 2017, @12:13AM (#571483)

    Your clay model is not at the exact dimension of your CAD model.
    If Dassault, Airbus and Boeing can design planes exclusively in CAD, it's silly for Ford to use clay.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22 2017, @12:41AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22 2017, @12:41AM (#571495)

    The clay model is the master. The CAD model, created by digitizing the clay model, is the slave. So, yes, the clay model is exactly the dimension the CAD model created from it will be.

    Dassault, Airbus, and Boeing are not competing to any large extent on looks; airplanes are almost pure works of engineering, judged on quantifiable metrics. Ford's mid-size sedan and Chevy's mid-size sedan are largely differentiated (in the eyes of actual new-car buyers, not mechanics) by their looks; those looks are not an accident, but the result of styling experts, and if those styling experts are (so far) happier working in their traditional clay medium than CAD, they get to play with clay. The mechanical stuff (where CAD is actually useful) is already done in CAD; it really doesn't matter how the artsy bits get done.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22 2017, @02:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22 2017, @02:22PM (#571646)

      Clay models are becoming less important as the digital models become better. In fact, I would say that we're already at the tipping point for clay models to lose their relevancy. With the resolutions that we're able to work with now and the computational power behind it to get lighting to look correct, it won't be long at all.