“Interactive computer graphics at Ford Motor Company” by Bliss

  • ©Frank W. Bliss




    Interactive computer graphics at Ford Motor Company



    Over the past fourteen years the Ford Motor Company actively pursued the development and use of interactive computer graphics in the design and manufacture of automobiles. The success of Ford’s pioneering efforts in the area of minicomputer graphics led to widespread acceptance and support for graphics within the corporation. This in turn led to a rapid expansion of computer graphics equipment. The advent of numerous Federal regulations in the areas of fuel economy, emissions control, and safety has generated additional Corporate interest in the use of computer graphics to help solve these difficult problems. Use of the Ford Computer Graphics System, as well as various commercially available turnkey computer graphics systems, has contributed substantially to cost reductions, improved productivity, and better documentation and control. This paper describes the on-going computer graphics effort at Ford Motor Company. A brief history of computer graphics is presented along with a detailed description of the Ford Computer Graphics System and the commercial systems. A few applications involving the various graphics systems are discussed. These include design activity at several design and manufacturing areas which are major users of graphics equipment. Next, four computer graphics-related projects presently receiving considerable attention are described. They include communications between graphics systems, a graphics information system and the use of graphics in both structural analysis and numerical control. Finally, some indication of where computer graphics is headed in the future is presented.

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