November 9, 2018

Making a real-time design tool: McLaren automates CAD import with Datasmith

By Thomas Convard

Editor's note: With the release of Unreal Engine 4.24, all Unreal Studio features have been rolled into Unreal Engine.

McLaren Design, known for its sleek, fast cars, is naturally at the forefront of technology. Recently, the design team collaborated with Epic Games to develop a design tool in Unreal Engine, an application to aid its designers in visualizing configurations for various types of vehicles.

Part of this process was importing parts data into Unreal Engine using Datasmith, formerly made available as part of Unreal Studio but now included in Unreal Engine, and organizing and categorizing each part correctly. This process is described in the new white paper Accelerating Data Conversion and Visualization: Automating CAD data preparation and real-time visualization using Unreal Studio which is now available for download.
McLaren has a large inventory of parts data in CAD format, and getting the data into Unreal Engine took careful preparation before import with Unreal Studio. McLaren leveraged the power of Python scripts within Unreal Engine to classify parts as they were imported. The team then used Blueprints to build a user interface where designers could swap out parts and finishes at the click of a button.

“Unreal Engine is designed to make real-time design tools possible,” says Marc Petit, General Manager of Enterprise at Epic Games. “The power of Python scripting, when coupled with Datasmith, provides a robust solution for manufacturers who need a fast solution while maintaining data integrity.”

Download the white paper to learn how McLaren did it, and get Unreal Engine today!