ALGORITHMS CAN DECIDE DESIGN
CARL Bass, CEO of design software company Autodesk, believes computers can come up with better designs than humans, and proved it with a strange looking engine block and motorbike swing arm.
He told Gizmag that giving a computer control over the final outcome of design within a set of engineering parameters requires people to stop thinking of computing as a precious resource, and instead view all the linked computers out there as the cheapest asset we can use to solve any problem.
The programme Autodesk Within allows CAD designers to set parameters, like desired weight and maximum stress and then waiting for the programme to generate an optimised designs that meet the requirements.
The results are not always beautiful, but each design does make optimal use of materials, using either 3D printing or milling.
Bass said he does not see 3D replacing current manufacturing processes. “It’s another tool in the toolbox,” he told Gizmag. “There will be times when 3D printing is awesome, there will be times when manufacturing is awesome.
“What I think the future of making things is, is this combination of having powerful design tools in order to make them, and the powerful fabrication techniques to realise those designs.” — Gizmag.
A one-cylinder engine block optimally designed using a new programme that lets algorithms determine how much material is needed where.