Do you ever wonder why bicycles, cars, planes, buildings, and bridges look the way they do? Could they have been designed another way? Well as technology advances we are seeing a fundamental shift in how things are designed with high computing technology at our disposal. We can now use computers to design even the most commonly utilized items like chairs as a result, we are seeing remarkably different shapes that look very organic in design. Today we will cover a new branch of design engineering called generative design.
How Generative Design is beginning to shape the world around us?
The human mind looks for the simplest options when it comes to designing objects. Ask someone to design a table they will think up a design most probably based on straight lines, a slab with four straight legs. It will be an obvious solution but is that table the most optimal design in terms of weight.
Probably not, now let’s allow a computer to come up with the design. Specify the height of the table and the area for the flat surface required. The AI takes over and on a blank canvas comes up with multiple solutions through iterations. If you tell it to come up with the most sturdy design for the lowest possible weight it will do so. You can pick the one design that delivers the most important criteria. And the one that you select might not even have been the one that you imagined on my own. That’s the promise of generative design.
If we look around us the way we have traditionally designed our products they look quite different from how nature has designed something with similar functions. Our design ability in the past has been limited by both the available materials and the manufacturing processes to shape them. But now we have computers to help us reimagine the way things can be designed using specialized algorithms.
Benefits of Generative Design
It’s an entirely new way of doing things. And the benefits are potentially staggering. Unprecedented reductions in costs, development time, material consumption. The sky is the limit. And when we combine generative design with the emergence of new forms of manufacturing like 3D printing. We suddenly have access to new possibilities.
Traditional manufacturing methods require you to make massive numbers of something just in order to be profitable. Small designers without access to production resources were simply out of luck. But now you can do a batch run of just one. The stage is being set for the reemergence of local manufacturing. Generative design leads to products that are lighter, stronger, and use much less material weight saving in components which will lead to a performance increase in many applications.