Generative Design

Classifying Generative Design

Different iterations of the optimization of an aircraft bracket
Different iterations of the optimization of an aircraft bracket

Generative design is a new, disruptive technology that introduces a paradigm shift for the design and development of new products. The traditional design cycle involves well-defined steps that include definition, research, specification, design, development, testing, revision and redesign. Only then is a suitable product ready for series production developed. Generative design is the innovation that makes your daily production routine much easier: With the help of topology optimization, artificial intelligence and sophisticated simulations, you automatically have multiple viable design alternatives by specifying simple design criteria.

Engineers are thus no longer limited by their imagination, their experience level or legacy designs. Generative design frees you from routine design tasks and takes over the actual geometry definition with its powerful algorithms. The user now uses his expertise to design and evaluate the various concepts generated. He uses design concepts as smoothed, organic topologies that satisfy design criteria and are optimized for Additive Manufacturing.


Typical industries and application fields

Generative Design pursues the goal of finding an optimal geometry for defined requirements with the least possible use of materials. Its typical field of application is therefore lightweight construction, often in combination with additive manufacturing as a production technology due to the resulting complex structures that are created in the process. Characteristic branches therefore include:

  • Aerospace industry & suppliers
  • Automotive industry & suppliers
  • Mechanical engineering (e.g. turbines, special machines)
  • Medical industry (e.g. orthopaedics, implants)
  • Transport and packaging technology as well as robotics

Challenges in product development

Overlay of the final geometries with the simulation result
Overlay of the final geometries with the simulation result

Increasingly complex products, a constant demand for efficiency in production and operation as well as shorter development cycles pose great challenges for product development. What is needed is a combination of a component that is optimally designed for production and at the same time optimally constructed for its application. Generative design is a technology that designs the component to fit precisely and thus optimally supports freedom of geometry. However, the manufacturing technology of additive manufacturing requires special adaptations of the design for good manufacturability. Additive manufacturing presents the user with various challenges in different areas:


Challenges from an economic perspective

  • minimize production costs
  • meet time-to-market
  • increase efficiency in product development
  • compensating for shortages of skilled workers
  • avoid production waste

Challenges from a technical perspective

  • the existing software cannot exploit the geometric freedom of additive manufacturing
  • the manual design is very complex and time-consuming
  • pronounced expert knowledge is required for manufacturing and design
  • existing optimization solutions require special expertise and are very time consuming
  • manual design very complex and time-consuming
  • distinct expert knowledge required for production and design
  • previous optimizations require special expertise and are very time-consuming

MSC Apex Generative Design: A Solution of MSC Software

MSC Apex Generative Design is an almost fully automated solution for the optimization of technical parts. Intelligent and efficient algorithms generate complex, organic lightweight structures in a very short time, which are optimally adapted to additive manufacturing. The structured and simple user interface in combination with a high degree of automation of the entire optimization process makes it possible for the user to generate precisely fitting geometries even without special knowledge. He benefits from:

  • Simplicity - No expert knowledge is required to carry out optimizations through a particularly user-oriented software design.
  • Automated Design - Several design candidates are generated almost fully automatically.
  • Optimal design - The generated variants meet all design criteria and minimize weight at the same time.
  • Import and validation - Import existing geometry or meshes, find optimized design candidates and perform design validation - all in a single CAE environment.
  • Direct output - Export high-quality geometry that can be produced directly and used immediately without manual post-processing.
  • One process - Import the resulting geometries into Simufact Additive (Metal) or Digimat AM (Polymer) to achieve a cost-effective first-time-right approach for each part.

With MSC Apex Generative Design you can efficiently generate optimal part geometries. Relieved with the daily routine tasks, you find time for your creative solutions and concepts

MSC Apex Generative Design

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