Implementing Virtual Reality into the Design Process

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Over the past few months Bentley Motors has seen a rapid rise in the use of Virtual Reality (VR) within the design process. With the increasing advancements in hardware power coupled with the new HTC Vive headsets and associated technology, Bentley’s designers and modellers have found that VR is now playing a key role in the product development of its new vehicles.

We can now walk around full-size digital models of cars and explore their overall volumes, assess their surface forms and highlights in a way that could never be realised before. This is true game-changers for designers and digital modellers alike.

One of the biggest shortcomings of digital design was scale and context. On a conventional monitor or powerwall it was impossible to truly visualise the scale of the car you were building. But seeing your CAD model rendered full-size in VR has demolished that shortcoming. The VR output from Autodesk VRED is very convincing and is allowing automotive design to progress at speeds and cost-savings that couldn’t previously be achieved. Decisions on exterior volumes and proportions can now be confidently taken without the need for expensive physical models. Likewise the same can be said about various design proposals.

We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg now, but VR is going to permutate all areas of car design, colour and trim specs, customer experience and so forth.This is a very exciting time.