When Will Generative Design Come to Autodesk Users?



Benjamin explains that the power generative design will bring to Autodesk users is to encapsulate complexity that would otherwise be impossible.

One of the reasons why rule-of-thumb and the-way-we-have-always-done-it design remains so strong is because of the mentality that if it worked the first time, why risk it? This becomes more of an issue as the complexity of a problem grows.

“There is no reason why the complexity of thousands or hundreds of thousands of parts can’t be encapsulated in something like generative design,” said Benjamin.

Factory layouts, office spaces, jet engine assemblies, city neighborhoods—this tool can be used to optimize them all. The question is, when will we see it? Will it be a stand-alone or plug-in tool for any of the numerous CAD, CAE, BIM, CAM or other design software offered by Autodesk?

The possibilities for Autodesk to flip this concept into one or even multiple tools is exciting to Andrew Anagnost, CEO of Autodesk. He sees it as an opportunity to save many organizations from the wave of disruptive technologies affecting various industries.

“Almost every customer we deal with is being disrupted in some way,” said Anagnost.“Our customers are seeing massive changes in the way they do things. For example, in the AEC space, construction companies are trying to figure out how to act more like manufacturing companies. The companies that win in the future will do more with less—less material, less resources, less impact in the surrounding environment and impact with local municipality with regulation and building codes.”

Given Benjamin’s statements on the flexibility of generative design tools that are governed by genetic algorithms, it sounds like it can handle optimizing everything from building codes, regulations, materials, resources and environmental impacts.

“Autodesk and AI understand geometry,” agreed Kurtenbach. “We’ve done CAD for years. Banks make AI to understand financial data; we can use it to understand shapes. We have a lot of models and objects to help the computer understand what a bolt is. But there is also non-geometry stuff that relates to processes that our customers want. There is an automation part, and machine learning can be used to solve a lot of problems.”

So, we know it can be used in much of the Autodesk portfolio, but when will the company actually roll out something? For that, Autodesk says to keep your eyes open.

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