The in-house design team at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC) has used 3D technology and augmented reality to help Ginetta fine tune its latest prototype.
Having already provided a similar service for the launch of its first prototype in 2015, Ginetta approached the 3M BIC design team to animate its £1.3millon LMP1 machine.
This enabled the car manufacturer’s own in-house design team to visualise the cars development, as well as showcase it at a launch event at Silverstone Circuit to potential buyers.
Ewan Baldry, technical director at Ginetta, said: “3D technology is an important part of our design process and marketing. To see something on a flat CAD screen has a few limitations, so being able to see something you can move around is very helpful.
“The main thing with a project such as this, from a marketing point of view, is to show credibility in the early stages to demonstrate to people the direction you are heading in, therefore having 3D visuals was key.”
The animation for the LMP1 car was created using physical STL data (used for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) testing or wind tunnel analysis) submitted to the 3M BIC design team by Ginetta.
Some adjustments had to be made to the original model in order for it to be re-textured with the corresponding racing livery, using Autodesk 3DS Max.
The team then rigged the car for animation and set the lighting for rendering purposes.
Paul Tallon, lead consultant designer at the 3M BIC, said: “3D rendering is a process in which an algorithm calculates the movements of a virtual photon on interaction with a surface of varying qualities.
“With the 3M BIC’s High Performance Computer and the latest Vray rendering software, we were able to get the detail to look as real life as possible in our render. This was particularly important for Ginetta who was looking for a realistic render to show their clients.”
As well as the on-screen render, the design team produced the car in augmented reality (AR) for use with the Microsoft Hololens, enabling people to walk around a scaled down holographic version of the car.
A 3D model was also printed in nylon by selective laser sintering (SLS) using the industrial additive manufacture printer on the 3M BIC’s Innovation Avenue, all of which were showcased at the launch event at Silverstone.
Ewan added: “Having worked with the 3M BIC team previously we knew they’d do the project justice. Again, we were really pleased with the service. We didn’t give them very much time, but they still produced something which was professional and to a high standard.”
Significant interest in the LMP1 has already been expressed following the launch event, from both new and existing customers.
The 3M BIC design team is currently working on the next stage of the process which involves creating a serious gaming experience that allows users, particularly racing drivers, to virtually test the LMP1 car on a track with varying different scenery and weather conditions to enhance the driver experience.
Leeds-based Ginetta, the leading British race car manufacturer, was founded in 1958 and acquired by racing driver and businessman Lawrence Tomlinson in 2005.
Since then it has taken the racing industry by storm, selling cars across the world and training some of the brightest stars in motorsport.