It used to be that even the smallest tweaks to an upcoming automobile's design could require weeks of fabrication to produce the modified clay, wood, and metal models. And while physical representations of prototype vehicles are still a big part of the production process today, a new 4K UHD monitor wall from Chevrolet could soon supplant them all.
The PowerWall, as it's known, is a 240 square-foot glass screen upon which a pair of ChristieMirage 4K25 DLP3D projectors shine a 2D or 3D computer image. This image is rendered from eight workstations supplemented by a pair of external video processors and requires five people to operate.
"That's the beauty of this kind of high definition. Using the maths data, we can render the vehicle as the customer will see it in the 'as manufactured state,'" Joe Guzman, engineering group manager for Global Virtual Design Process & Operations, said in a press statement. "Designers and engineers can then scrutinize every detail to make sure they are spot on."
Despite the team routinely using the system for all sorts of detail and finishing tweaks, often up to a year before they are ever actually protoyped, Guzman doubts that this virtual drawing board will replace physical modelling outright in the near term, we'll have to see what happens when they hook up a Rift to this thing. [Chevrolet]