Examples of Generative Design in action

Generative Design

Examples of Generative Design in action

This Story is part of a series.

  • Vincenz Marschall
    Vincenz Marschall Design Engineer, designaffairs

Having set the scene about Generative Design (GD) in part one of this article, I now want to tell you about some of the exciting GD concepts we’ve been working on here at designaffairs. From improving mobility for the disabled to transforming urban mobility in general, we’ve got it covered!

GD in action: A designaffairs wheelchair frame

For many people with mobility issues, the wheelchair is a vital part of their lives. For active users, it generally needs to be highly customizable and lightweight. Combining GD and 3-D printing (or additive manufacturing in general) allows us to satisfy both requirements precisely. Because GD is performed automatically, we humans can focus on truly customized designs for each individual user. We can reflect individual body measurements or special needs while always designing to the minimum weight. Additive manufacturing is very flexible and well suited for custom, one-off production.

I created the GD setup in Autodesk’s Fusion 360. It is processed on the Autodesk cloud, which allows us to run multiple simulations – often from different projects – on a low-end workstation. The software offers multiple GD results with variations in materials and production processes to choose from. Its low hardware requirements and pay-as-you-go approach means that Fusion 360 offers a low-barrier entry to the world of GD.

Free.da GD frame

free.da is designaffairs’ urban mobility vision, encompassing a system of diverse pods in a shared fleet of autonomously driven transporters. Pods can serve versatile modes of transport: individual mobility, public transport and freight. The u-shaped transporter will pick up and deliver any pod, just as you would grab a glass with your hand. The transporters, containing all the technology, need high utilization levels with low operating costs. This is where a generatively-designed lightweight structure comes into play.

Our GD frame was created on Dassault’s CAD platform, 3D Experience. It requires a high-end workstation running the simulations. High compatibility across the whole organization and throughout the platform (e.g. with Catia CAD software) make it a good solution in situations where 3-D Experience is already being deployed.

Conclusion

AI tools are here to stay and will undoubtedly become more powerful. They will be able to take over tasks and decision-making when we allow them to. However, time and cost pressures are driving further implementation of AI solutions, so the leeway is limited.

We see glitter and sparkle through a tiny gap in the AI box. But we don’t know yet if it’s a treasure chest or Pandora’s box. Either way, we should accept its presence and try to work with it. Even if you are an AI skeptic, at least play with it, experiment with it and express your ideas! At the end of the day, trust and collaboration are key.

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