We have been working with Design World magazine on a new infographic that illustrates some of the key characteristics and benefits of generative design – you can download the full infographic in PDF format at the bottom of this blog post.
The new infographic contrasts the traditional process of using 3D CAD software to turn your idea for a component or product into a detailed design, with the new possibilities that generative design offers. Using the traditional design approach you may need to run through an iterative process where you design the component, apply loads and material to your 3D CAD model, and then run an FEA analysis on the model to see if it performs as needed. For components subjected to significant loads, you may need to run through several iterations of this process to ensure that stress concentrations are reduced and your design has a sufficient safety factor before the yield stress is exceeded.
With generative design, you only need to specify small areas of the final geometry, for example a pivot point where the component will be located and constrained to move in a certain way, a bearing surface where a load will be applied, and any keep-out areas. Generative design then uses computing power and topology optimization techniques to come up with an optimized design. FEA analysis is an integral part of the generative design process so this significantly reduces the need to run these analyses yourself.
The infographic also summarizes the many benefits of generative design, including designing lighter components that use less material, that are suitable for additive manufacturing, and that eliminate additional manufacturing operations like assembly and welding. This infographic is referenced in a more comprehensive article on generative design and an associated competition from Design World. And you can visit our website to find out more about Solid Edge Generative Design.