March 25th, 2023 – From Concept to Creation

March 25th, 2023 – From Concept to Creation

3D Printing, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence in Automotive Design

Text and photos: Carl Foleen

March brought its usual unpredictable weather, and what promised to be a sunny excursion to the Beaverton Library for the JOCO March Tech session turned into a “wet-dry-wet-moist” drive.

The lecture’s title was “From Concept to Creation,” an illustrated talk on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and today’s computers are changing everything about the motorcar of today and tomorrow. The interactive presentation was capably delivered by subject matter expert Eric Bromander (the son of  JOCO Webmaster and Board member Tomas Bromander).

This was also the first event where the club was able to use its new digital projector, which performed its duties with aplomb.

Participants learned fascinating insights into how computers have, in nearly all cases, been able to both simplify and expand the design options when new motorcar models are in the conceptual stages – often before a design is even “committed to paper.”  Ideas can be as simple as refining an existing design  to “morphing” into many “generations” with mild to radical design cues.

Another benefit of the computerized design process is that it is possible to share everything…from the concept to a “virtual reality” three dimensional model that can be shared with several people in multiple locations simultaneously. What’s ultimately helpful is that this three dimensional model can be very complete and participants can “walk around” the “model” to view it from all possible angles. Changes can be requested by the viewers, displayed almost immediately in “real time” and any changes can be immediately adopted into the displayed design.  This, of course, makes the clay model of a design very nearly a relic of the past. 

Other topics were also discussed that were related to the creative and design process. The world of computing, especially related to “machine learning” and “adaptive computing” is an exciting frontier that will impact all of our lives in many different ways as the future unfolds. This is truly an exciting time for automobile lovers – whether you are “into classic cars” and will be searching for the ability to recreate a long out of production / no longer available at any price spare part for your beloved collector car to on-demand replacement parts for your new car made with your own 3D printer.

The post-event gathering was a “pizzafest” at Godfather’s Pizza on SW Barnes Rd. Nearly everyone that attended the presentation was able to have dinner together and the discussions ranged from more information about the lecture to the future of all-electric vehicles, with many other discussion points in between. 

It is hoped that in the future this highly informative event can be repeated.

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