Hackrod Uses Lightworks’ Visualization Technology to Design its Concept Speedster

December 19, 2018

Visualisation experts Lightworks collaborate with the creative minds behind custom car design company Hackrod at Epic’s automotive event Unreal Build: Munich.

Custom car pioneers Hackrod are using Lightworks’ SLIPSTREAM to design their 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 this week to showcase their work in progress to experts within the automotive industries.

Hackrod aims to empower consumers to be the designer and allow them to manufacture their dream car on demand. ‘La Bandita’ acts as their proof of concept of a built-to-order car, made into a reality. Hackrod is all about breaking the mould when it comes to custom car design and believe 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 stunning high-quality 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. This allows Hackrod to spend more hours every day focusing on the important things like interating faster, CAD modelling and the ability to be more responsive to customers.

Felix Holst, Chief Product Officer at Hackrod, said:

“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. 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 optimise 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 colourways, part variants and material swapping features, SLIPSTREAM is providing the tools for Hackrod to bring their digital twin vision into reality.

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.  This is key for Hackrod as it enables them to review designs more often and make better, quicker decisions.

Ben Widdowson, Sales and Marketing Director at Lightworks, said:

“We see Slipstream as a game changing  way for design teams to reduce costs, save time and get their products to market faster. 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.”

Lightworks has over 25 years experience working in the visualisation industry and has spent time building established relationships with many of the leading automotive brands. Taking the time to understand challenges manufacturers experience is key  to developing solutions that have the most impact. In September, Siemens announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Lightwork Design. Lightwork Design will become part of Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Digital Factory division. This will provide Siemens PLM Software customers with enhanced 3D data visualisation, high-end rendering and VR capabilities via its comprehensive suite of 3D product lifecycle management (PLM) applications.