The studio has room for two full-size clay models, or there are various 3-D printing machines using a UV resin-based compound. Director of Strategic Initiates David Wright described how they could ‘grow a model out of liquid’ and create shapes it’s not possible to machine.
He then handed out some cool-looking glasses, and demonstrated the Power Wall, which can show designers a large detailed 3-D image, take it to bits and put it back together. (At this point I actually ducked, as a giant wing mirror seemed about to knock my head off.)
I was pleased to hear that computer-generated models still can’t replace the clay model. This is not only because of some annoying clashes of ones and zeros at the interfaces of complex 3-D models, but also because designers still need to stroke and feel the surface of a model.
Areas people will be researching here include making air and rail travel more comfortable by taking a new approach to interior design, creating modular vehicles and the use of wearable tech.
If Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke or Philip K Dick had lived to see this, it would have blown their minds.