Tag Archives: Autodesk Research

Autodesk Research Project Dreamcatcher: Pushing the limits of generative design

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Dreamcatcher workflow. Source: Autodesk

Project Dreamcatcher is Autodesk Research’s initiative to explore and expand the limits of generative design through the power of cloud computing, natural-language input, pattern-based problem description and AI-assisted design space visualization. Describing Dreamcatcher as an “experimental design platform with focused research probes into generative design systems,” Autodesk explains the spur for this work: “Recent advancements in artificial intelligence and the simulation of complex phenomena have enabled software to play an active, participatory role in the invention of form.”

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Click to animate. Source: Autodesk

At first glance this may look like topology optimization meets Invention Machine. But of course it’s much more. A goal-directed design system, Dreamcatcher’s objectives are summarized by Autodesk: “The Dreamcatcher system allows designers to input specific design objectives, including functional requirements, material type, manufacturing method, performance criteria and cost restrictions. Loaded with design requirements, the system then searches a procedurally synthesized design space to evaluate a vast number of generated designs for satisfying the design requirements. The resulting design alternatives are then presented back to the user, along with the performance data of each solution, in the context of the entire design solution space.” Continue reading

Design space exploration industry timeline

A timeline of company formations, product launches and M&A activity among design exploration and optimization software vendors maps the pace and direction of the industry’s development.

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Design exploration vs. design optimization

Automating the search for solutions to engineering problems can take either of two broad approaches: design exploration or design optimization. Practitioners making technology choices need to understand which tools do one, which do the other, and which approach best fits their needs. A global roster of commercially available design exploration and optimization software appears at the end of this post. Continue reading