Ford continues to push the envelope on what the future of vehicle design and development will be. In order to more efficiently design and craft new vehicles, Ford is exploring using a virtual reality design tool known as Gravity Sketch. Instead of using pen and paper to draw up new sketches for future vehicles, artists will be able to immediately see their designs in a three dimensional space and interact with it using the virtual tools.


Ford is the first automaker to begin experimenting with this kind of design. Michael Smith, Ford’s design manager, has commented on how seeing these models in a virtual space changes the game entirely for design. He says that when artists can see and move the models around in virtual reality, it enables them to think from the very beginning about how people will be able to interact with the final product.


Typically, the design process begins on paper, which is then transferred into a specific software that carefully creates a 3D model from the drawings. These models are then evaluated in a process that can take weeks. Because of how long this process can take, it’s easy to understand why Ford is looking for ways to streamline the process.


Though still in the early stages of experimentation, five global Ford design studios are working with teams of designers to improve the efficiency and implementation of the Gravity Sketch program within Ford’s production model. By further developing a team-based understanding of the software and equipment, Ford hopes to make real-time co-creation and collaboration a regular aspect of future vehicle design.

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