General Motors is forming a partnership with software company Autodesk for a range of new ventures. Together, they plan to combine 3D printing and Generative Design and leverage both their advantages for vehicle manufacturing.
The focus of this new partnership is on light-weighting and design innovations through novel approaches. By creating light-weight vehicles, they will not just be able to improve automotive efficiency, but also increase interior space. Additionally, the new design strategies provide GM with non-traditional shapes that go beyond regular additive manufacturing and traditional production methods.
Another reason that this partnership is a major factor is that it marks GM’s new foray into the world of Generative Design. According to Autodesk: “Generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as materials, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints. Then, using cloud computing, the software explores all the possible permutations of a solution, quickly generating design alternatives. It tests and learns from each iteration what works and what doesn’t.”
The new strategy allows for designers to generate a range of evolving prototypes that traditional modes of design don’t allow. The range of options it provides makes the system far more adaptive and thus more process friendly, enabling GM to explore design options faster than any other way. With the aid of 3D printing they can bring these designs to life as well as field test them.
Various other companies have been employing the use of Generative Design. Start-up Frustrum Inc. has recently launched its platform specifically for this type of design. Similarly, Desktop Metal have also debuted their own platform at the SOLIDWORKS World event in LA. There appears to be a growing interest in this field, so it’s no wonder GM sees its potential.
Featured Image is a still from GM’s promotional video. It is, therefore, under the ownership of GM.