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In the Fold: Autodesk news and opinions

It’s here! Generative design technology makes its commercial debut in Fusion 360 Ultimate

April 24, 2018

By Rob Cohee

Autodesk and Lightning Motorcycles teamed up to redesign this motorcycle swingarm with generative design.

After a few months in tech preview, we’re excited to share that generative design is now commercially available to subscribers of Fusion 360 Ultimate. Fusion 360 is a cloud-based product development tool that was built ground-up to eliminate the seams between the traditional lines of CAD, CAM, CAE, electronics, data management, and collaboration. Now it also becomes our go-to platform for generative design.

If you haven’t heard, generative design is the future of manufacturing. It turns product development on its head by helping to include design concepts as you consider manufacturability. Instead of evaluating design concepts after they’re developed, generative design lets you define your design parameters (like material, size, weight, strength, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints) up front. Then using AI-based algorithms and the power of the cloud, it outputs an array of design options  that meet your predetermined criteria. From there, designers and engineers can filter through and choose the outcomes that best meet their stated requirements. Beyond offering what were originally “unthinkable” design options, generative design empowers engineers with data needed to help make a sound decision that’s based on their needs.

This generatively designed swingarm for Lightning’s LS-218 electric bike was 3D-printed, then cast in A356 aluminum.

Generative design can accelerate the product development process, and it results in better outcomes — whether that’s improving a product’s performance, or contributing to a more sustainable design as seen with Airbus and Stanley Black & Decker or part consolidation, which simplifies supply chains, lowers assembly costs, and can improve product strength.

With Fusion 360, we’ve always listened to our vibrant user community and made enhancements based on what they need in their design and manufacturing tools. Now with generative design, we’re putting some of the most advanced design technology at your fingertips.  One of my colleagues once said, “If you look at the average customers’ product development process and workflows, it’s all about the work and not about the flow.” Well, with Fusion 360, our goal is to give you the product development capabilities to help you focus on the flow, not the work.

You can learn more about how to access generative design in Fusion 360 here.


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