Lesson Learned: Generative Design Does Apply to Machinery

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Toronto for Autodesk’s Accelerate event. The folks from Autodesk gave some insight into their vision for the industry and their solutions. More interestingly, however, they yielded most of the time in the event to their customers.

One of the customers that spoke was a company called Claudius Peters Projects GmbH. They make industrial equipment, including huge furnaces. Their presentation shared how they had applied Generative Design to some of their biggest and heaviest components. These were castings, where a smaller volume actually equated to less material used to make each component. As you can seen from the screen captures below, the algorithms generated some wildly different shapes. Their engineering staff had to rein it in a bit due to manufacturability. Yet, they still realized some significant savings. Furthermore, one of the new designs with less material had lower stresses because it was less rigid.

The funny thing here is that I had a conversation with someone the week before about how Generative Design technology wasn’t truly applicable to machinery and industrial equipment. Well, in this case, they were dead wrong.

Read my tweets below for more detail.

Chad Jackson is an Industry Analyst at Lifecycle Insights and publisher of the engineering-matters blog. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Chad covers career, managerial and technology topics in engineering. For more details, visit his profile.