How generative design can change the product development process

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TASKS CAN BE VERY COMPLICATED and are considered complex optimization problems most of the time. Therefore, design teams must continually manage product development tasks through a series of technical interpretations, refinements, and analyses.

Technology has come a long way and offers many alternatives. Numerical analysis has developed to such an extent that designs can be evaluated in mere seconds. Additionally, algorithms can automatically adjust part geometry between simulations. New generative design systems have offered many new solutions for designs, even in ways you can’t even imagine. Let’s wait no longer and find out how generative design can change the product development process in the future!

How will generative design change the product development process?

A reduction in material during the manufacturing phase

“Generative design” brings immense relief to engineers only because they have to use fewer materials during product development. However, depending on the material used, this directly affects the expenses incurred in manufacturing a product.

Lightweighting is the term used in product design to use generative design tools to reduce weight to increase performance.

Regardless of the type of material used, using less material will always result in additional savings. Some companies that have completely transitioned to using generative design are Under Armour, Airbus, and many others. The new designs require less material and weigh much less than before, making the manufacturing process more simple.

We can use Airbus as a prime example to define the generative design innovations being achieved. Since Airbus started using generative design, they’ve been emitting far less carbon, up to nearly 500,000 tons!

Most companies similar to Airbus are working on a greener design, resolutely concerned with protecting the environment and increasing their Environmental regulations.

Optimization of product development

Generative design makes a huge difference in the product development process. It simplifies the operations involved in reducing design time. Most businesses will be scanned 2D drawings with 3D modeling, allowing them to aggregate all the designs proposed by architects and engineers. Thus, the designs are now classified as digital models.

generative design in engineering

Altair’s Inspire software supports optimization and simulation on both lattice and solid lattice compound components and parts as part of its generative design capabilities.

Consider the example of a design-build company that can develop modular housing concepts with hundreds of components through generative design. After that, companies can standardize their components and modules with unique prices and codes. In short, it can immensely benefit all clients looking to build a new home.

With generative design software, companies can save significant dollars on the product development phase and serve more customers faster.

Generative design can flex well

Most of them can see additive manufacturing technologies (morning) and generative design as partners in crime. All because they work so well with organic and intricate shapes. Yet, additive manufacturing can hardly be considered a requirement to implement generative design. Additionally, the latest generative design can compensate for limitations considered in the manufacturing process.

This kind of flexibility expands the range of parts that generative design can target and makes it easier for design teams to consider other options in the manufacturing process.

generative design in architecture

Autodesk Spacemaker is generative design software for urban planners, architects, and real estate developers.

Moreover, a huge advantage of generative design is that it is not limited to structural design tasks. It is already used in different engineering fields such as thermal design, fluid flow optimization, optics, electrical design, etc.

In addition, urban planners and architects adopt generative techniques to optimize the layout of buildings and urban space. Many similar algorithms are applied to other complex optimization problems outside the product design space.

CAD software

While engineers and product developers are constantly creating and designing new products, large builds and components use CAD software and computers. In contrast, generative design makes computers the new engine of product development, also considering that BODY has been around for over 50 years!

Before getting to work, engineering designers will define their functional requirements and design parameters by measuring weight, material type, load capacity, cost, manufacturing process, and maximum size. The computer will do the work later by calculating the optimal geometry and creating many design sketches that meet the specified criteria. Therefore, the simulation fits into product development process through generative design.

generative design is used by architects

Unit types inside a multifamily building type inside software from TestFit, a popular new generative design tool that replaces CAD tasks.

The benefits companies get from using generative design are significant. As a result, the productivity of product development will increase significantly, and only by saving more time will innovations and creative ideas appear in the research phase.

For example, heavy-duty designs have less weight and much more durability. This promotes the optimization of new products created and improves the manufacturing phase, thus reducing production times and material costs and offering a higher degree of customization.

The use of AI

After hundreds to thousands of design sketches have been created, the AI will select the most suitable designs based on the stated requirements. On the other hand, the developer can suggest different design variations and use parameters such as which are the lightest models, suggestions for different types of materials, etc.

The AI ​​has an excellent level of technology that allows developers to quickly have optimized design goals. Once the designs that will be used are chosen, the first prototypes will be produced in 3D printers or milling machines, or the results will be automatically transmitted to the test according to supply chains, quality data, cost calculations, etc. This not only increases yield, but also saves time.

Personalization options

Industries are always under great pressure to meet customer needs and habits, only to survive in all their industries. Therefore, those who operate in different industries and want to continuously do better must find new ways to better meet customer needs and stand out from their competitors.

Industries must provide the customer service required to attract and retain customers with different tactics. However, keeping up with customer customization needs and wants can get expensive and time consuming.

For example, Adidas started using 3D printing and produced custom 3D printed midsoles to support customization options. Moreover, they plan to continue doing so even in larger numbers to promote a personalized experience to the fullest.

To wrap up

Well, that’s about it for this article. I hope you understand how generative design approaches are evolving and bringing a whole new level of innovation to the product development phase. This forces companies to change the way they operate, reconsider their investments in tools, product development, etc.

All we can say is that if you haven’t started using generative design in your business and are thinking twice about it, consider using it in order to keep up to date with the latest trends in the product development phase. In addition, it is a great idea to reduce the weight of your product and reduce production times. Especially if you are an experienced engineer or designer, time has to be on your side and so should cost reductions.

Figure out how it can work for you in your business and what kind of innovations it can bring. After all, we mentioned that it’s cost effective and time saving, so it’s a benefit for you.

About the Author

Tony Ademi is a freelance SEO content and copywriter with three years of experience. With hundreds of SEO optimized articles written, Tony is proficient in writing for the digital marketing industry and always tries to stay up to date with the various SEO algorithms. His love for writing started at a young age when he wrote a book at the age of 16 but never got it published. In other words, for every article he writes, his main goal is to thoroughly research and ensure that the article is easy to read and clear to understand, providing great value to the target audience.


Image credits

The format is equivalent to “part with copyright” / “part with reserved use rights”. (ex: image: JPW / Architosh. All rights reserved.)
Title image credit: Screenshot from YouTube video on Autodesk Generative Design / Architosh. All rights reserved.

Gary C. Lisi