Generative Design Marries Nature With Technology

04Feb15

by Jeff Kowalski @lineshapespace

With the computer working in a lifelike manner to solve problems, you can focus on the intention of your design—what you’re trying to achieve—while the computer uses everything it knows to provide you with the best solution.

generative design gears

Generative Design = Evolution. Nature explores all possible solutions that optimize performance in a given environment. For humans to see their designs evolve, they have to stop thinking of computers as merely drawing tools and start thinking about them as portals to greater exploration.

Generative design mimics nature’s approach to design by starting with your goals and then exploring all of the best possible permutations of a solution through successive generations, until the best one is found.

Until recently, generative design was locked up in the realm of theoretical computer science because the computation took too long. But because the cloud gives you access to all the computing power that this approach demands, you’re now able to evolve millions of individual options in parallel. That essentially accelerates evolution—and now you can get to the bestresult in the same time it once took us to get to the first result.

By identifying a specific parameter to optimize for—like weight, surface area, or stiffness—the computer will return the most optimal geometries. The designer can then choose the best of these options based on, say, aesthetics, and the computer will continue to iterate on that design until you ask it to stop. Eventually, you end up with this highly optimized result, which is not only beautiful but lighter and more efficient than its traditionally designed predecessors.

Read the full article here

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