Expanding upon a year-long global test project, Ford is enlisting the help of Microsoft’s HoloLens to design its latest automobiles.
Traditional methods of vehicle design are done using clay models, but solely using this method can be expensive and time-consuming. Ford designers plan to blend the new with the old, using 3D holograms in conjunction with clay production models. By making this shift, designers have more creative flexibility since each part doesn’t have to be physically prototyped in clay.
According to a Microsoft blog post, “In their early work in grille theme development, they proved that what used to take days with multiple physical models could take only hours using a HoloLens and one physical model.”
“It’s amazing that we can combine the old and new—clay models and holograms in a way that both saves time and allows designers to experiment and iterate quickly, to dream up even more stylish and clever vehicles. Microsoft HoloLens is a powerful tool for designers as we continue to reimagine vehicles and mobility experiences in fast changing times,” says Moray Callum, vice president of design at Ford.
Adding the HoloLens to the design process also helps maintain vehicle confidentiality. In the past, projects were reduced to only a small number of viewers, and many engineers weren’t privy to visualizing the full model design. Now, engineers across multiple teams can collaborate with greater ease and garner a better understanding during the development process.
“Microsoft HoloLens allows a whole team of people to collaborate, share, and look at ideas together. It is exciting because it helps our designers and engineers communicate effectively and ideate to see the future earlier in the process by mixing virtual and physical models. This allows great freedom and efficiency in how prototypes are created or changed,” says Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist.
The customer also benefits, since designers and engineers can easily evaluate aesthetics and overall functionality. In the future, Ford will continue to explore additional avenues where HoloLens technology can assist in product development.
To learn more, watch the video below.