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Transportation

How Ford's Virtual Reality Lab Helps Engineers 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-this-real? dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Facebook bought OculusVR and the world tilted a little on its axis. But good old Ford has been using VR all along without much fanfare. VR tech effectively gives Ford engineers X-ray vision, so they can — virtually — see through a vehicle's structure, which helps to design mechanical hardware, and spot issues with designs that might interfere with vehicle 'hard points.' Ford's engineers also use VR headsets to check out exterior and interior designs of cars that don't exist in the physical world — at least not yet. Team members walk around virtual cars to preview designs, or "get in" to check if interior layouts will work in the real world."
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How Ford's Virtual Reality Lab Helps Engineers

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  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:26PM (#46615595)

    The VW bug was not designed by "they" It was designed by the Porsche company to meet political demands by Adolf Hitler, for a very simple German made car, costing less than 100 marks and with better than 40 mpg fuel consumption, capable of fitting a small family. It also incorporated previous design work by Ferdinand Porsche, which is why parts for Porsches and for VW Beetles were cross-compatible for so long.

    The design is fascinating for its _simplicity_. It's the simplicity found in designs by a master craftsman. The presence of the engine in the rear, for example, meant a much smaller and more compact transmission without the lengthy drive shaft of contemporary front engine, rear drive wheel designs. That meant less high quality, high strength, high durability steel was needed in the manufacture, which helped keep prices down. The shape of the car worked both aerodynamically, to help gas mileage, but mechanically, with shapes that were forgiving of minor manufacturing perfections, and with placementn of connectors that made the vehicle easy to repair, easy to adjust for slightly miscut or miscast components, and easy to repair.

    If you ever had the opportunity to work with one, you'd have noticed similar quality in the engine. It was _easy_ to remove if needed, and very intelligent design went into the layout so that tools could reach mounting screw or bolts and the various adjustment points for the carburetor. Its major flaw was a tendency to burn oil (which is not surprising for an engine made so inexpensively, high quality seals and tight tolerance mechanical parts cost _money_). They also had a tendency for the bottom of the car to become dangerously corroded by road salt. The broad use of road salt was nowhere near as common when these cars were designed, and would have been quite expensive to protect against. The old Beetles were so light that it was often possible to simply _lift_ or push them out of trouble when they got stuck in snow or mud: they actually floated for a while if they ever landed in water. Lifting them out of trable happened repeatedly when I was much younger and snow plows buried my old car.

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