Chevy’s PowerWall Was Instrumental in Designing the Colorado
The car design process has been rapidly changing during our technology boom, and it is at perhaps its coolest stage yet. For instance, Chevy’s PowerWall, a giant, ultra-fine resolution, 240 square-foot, glass screen that can display both 2D and 3D, was used to design aspects of the Chevy Colorado. Using the PowerWall saved the engineers from having to build (and pay for) physical prototypes just as they tested things out and swapped ideas. Instead, they could test out their ideas digitally before ever having to produce them.
One of the Colorado’s features born from Chevy’s PowerWall is the chrome assist step. More than a year before the physical prototype was available, engineers were able to design the black treads to eliminate the reflection of drain holes in the cab’s bottom edges. The PowerWall was also used to test out GearOn.
“That’s the beauty of this kind of high definition. Using the math data, we can render the vehicle as the customer will see it in the ‘as manufactured state,’” remarked Joe Guzman, who is the engineering group manager for Global Virtual Design Process & Operations. “Designers and engineers can then scrutinize every detail to make sure they are spot on.”
Of course, once engineers stumble upon a design they like, they will still create the physical prototype. But for every good idea, there are likely ten bad ones, and now engineers won’t have to worry about making every single one of them.