Ford is Using Virtual-Reality Experience in Car Design Process


The Ford Brand is always looking for ways to innovate within the automotive industry. Their design process includes virtual reality experiences and 3D printing, which is wonderful. They are working with Gravity Sketch, which is a 3D design tool that allows designers to create and visualize potential automotive model concepts. This offers them a 360-view.

Designers at Ford work within a virtual reality room that has headsets and controllers that assists them in their design process. They can even see themselves sitting inside of the virtual version of the vehicle. They can then make changes and adjustments as needed, rotate and see it from multiple angles, with the ability to have attention to the smallest details. This allows full control over the final design and is a step up from the old school process where they would use clay models and hand illustrate the design, scan it into a computer-aided design program (known as CAD) and transformed into a 2D image. Now the virtual reality aspect takes this to the next level and decreases the turnaround time for the entire process. For example, the old way of designing could take weeks, whereas now they can do the very same things in a matter of hours. Since designers have the ability to virtually sit inside the vehicles, they can really focus on the driver experience, keeping them in mind during the creation process. It actually looks fun too!


“This application has the potential to help ensure we are delivering the very best vehicle designs for our customers.” – Michael Smith, Ford Design Manager

Thus far, there are about 50 Ford designers who are learning how to use the program. It takes about eight hours of training to learn Gravity Sketch, which is integrated with Ford’s current design methods and programs. We’re looking forward to the future!

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