Hackrod is Using Lightworks’ SLIPSTREAM to Design its Concept Speedster

Hackrod is using virtual reality prior to manufacturing the car using 3D printing processes.

Hackrod is using virtual reality prior to manufacturing the car using 3D printing processes.

Visualization company Lightworks collaborates with the creative minds behind custom car design company Hackrod at Epic’s automotive event Unreal Build: Munich. Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.

Custom car company Hackrod is using Lightworks’ SLIPSTREAM to design its concept speedster ‘La Bandita’ in VR before manufacturing it using the latest industrial 3D printing processes. The two companies were onstage at Epic’s Unreal Build event in Munich in mid-December to showcase their work in progress to experts within the automotive industries.

‘La Bandita’ acts as Hackrod's proof of concept of a built-to-order car, made into a reality. Hackrod is focused on custom car design and believes that this advancement in manufacturing will change the future of automotive design altogether.

For the past four years Hackrod has been developing the use of VR, AI and industrial 3D printing as part of their mission to change transport design. Through the gamification of engineering, consumers will be able to design ready-to-order vehicles in VR, powered by the Unreal Engine.

One of the significant challenges in realising this vision is the ability to reduce data prep time for design teams. SLIPSTREAM enables designers to automatically prepare all of their CAD data for design reviews in less time. Instead of spending one day every week manually preparing data for every design review, SLIPSTREAM does it automatically. 

“The Hackrod vision is based on the democratization of design and manufacturing, the idea that it will be as easy to configure the mobility solution of your dreams as easily as playing a video game,” says Felix Holst, chief product officer at Hackrod. “One of our greatest challenges is to manipulate heavy manufacturing data in a lightweight consumer facing environment. SLIPSTREAM helps us to do this beautifully and clears one of our final hurdles as we follow our mantra of ‘game to garage’....on our quest to make the consumer creator in the automotive space.”

Slipstream automates data processes within the pipeline to optimize complex CAD data. Through processing tasks such as Decimation, Variant Specification and Mesh clean up, Lightworks have been able to deliver a simple, automated, end-to-end pipeline for Hackrod. By including multiple colorrways, part variants and material swapping features, SLIPSTREAM is providing the tools for Hackrod to bring their digital twin vision into reality, the companies report.

By controlling processes such as tessellation and decimation, SLIPSTREAM automatically processes large datasets bringing the polygon count down to deliver high performance experiences at 90 frames per second (FPS) in virtual reality.  

“We see Slipstream as a game-changing way for design teams to reduce costs, save time and get their products to market faster,” says Ben Widdowson, sales and marketing director at Lightworks. “In speaking to many of the major automotive design studios, they tell us that they’re spending one man day per week manually preparing data for design reviews. It struck us as a crazy amount of time spent on a monotonous task, which could be done automatically, freeing up time for the designers to focus on creating and reviewing new design themes.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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Siemens PLM Software


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