Preparing for the future of making things in design and manufacturing

by Matt Lemay, Enterprise Solutions Lead, Additive Manufacturing on February 22, 2018

You hear a lot about trends from us, and sometimes it’s easy to get lost. Two technologies shaping our agenda for the near future are generative design and additive manufacturing. Here we give you an overview of what they are, the benefits they bring to design and manufacturing, and how we are preparing you for the future of making things by putting these technologies into action.

Autodesk Generative Design (AGD) enables the rapid creation and exploration of design options, empowering design teams to analyze the tradeoffs they can make along a price/performance curve. In the past, designers and engineers would explore two or three different designs and then, if afforded the time, run topology or lattice optimizations on their chosen solution to further refine the design. With AGD, users can generate hundreds of potential solutions to a design problem and explore the variations, including solutions that would be difficult to imagine without the aid of a machine.

Traditional optimization focuses on refining a known solution without any notion of manufacturability. By contrast, generative design helps augment the engineer, using the power of the cloud to explore a whole set of previously unknown solutions—and it comes with manufacturability preconfigured as part of the design criteria. The number of simulations engineers are required to run is greatly reduced on the chosen solution because simulation and optimization is built directly into the process.

As we wrote earlier, our customers say it best:

We subscribe to the ‘design thinking’ philosophy where quantity is valued over quality in the ideation phase and we think AGD is a HUGE leap forward in design,” said Kenny Cornett, owner of Innovation Forge. “With AGD, we have brought that philosophy to our CAD work and we can now identify form and function early on and use the natural synthesis from a multitude of design options to find the best path forward.”

“Autodesk Generative Design has opened up new worlds to us. We are now able to evaluate hundreds or even thousands of designs in the time it would have previously taken our design team to come up with ten. The results have been beyond our imaginations with organic-like forms that are difficult–or even impossible–to conceptualize with our previous tools. Autodesk is ahead of the curve with the first product like this on the market. Just like when AutoCAD was introduced 30 years ago, this new paradigm in design is just the beginning of an exciting era of new possibilities and outrageous results,” said Cornett.

But after the design is completed, how do we actually produce it?

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is one of the most disruptive and challenging opportunities currently facing the manufacturing industry. AM has the unique ability to allow us to re-imagine our design and production process through the ability to create competitive separation through increased product performance, enhanced supply chain, and implementing mass customization. The disruption is also well documented:

  • Wohler’s report states that the Additive Manufacturing industry is expected to quadruple in the next 2 years, reaching $21 Billion in total by 2020.
  • According to McKinsey, the Additive Manufacturing industry will experience 35-94x growth by 2025.

Outside of additive manufacturing’s benefits, another reason for its growth is accessibility. Originally thought of as viable only for advanced manufacturers, AM is poised to influence every segment of enterprise manufacturing including not just aerospace and automotive, but also consumer products, industrial machinery, and heavy equipment.

Due to the advantages and accessibility, all manufacturers should prioritize investigating additive manufacturing or perfecting current processes. 

Watch the following webinar to learn more about the future of making things and put the above technologies in actions.

Generative Design & Additive Manufacturing: Revolutionizing Engineering & Manufacturing Workflows

Watch the on-demand Webinar

To experience these next generation technologies in action you can attend one of our in-person events. Learn more here and register via the links below.

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