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5 Reasons Why The Future Of Manufacturing Is Generative Design

 |  Egle Adomynaite

Generative Design for Manufacturing: What you need to know

generative design for manufacturing

Generative design and manufacturing. Image source: ntopolgy

Manufacturing a successful industrial product is sheer hard work. Getting it right means you have to align all the elements that together create a winning product: material, usability, space, functionality, desirability, strength and so many more. No wonder, product design resides at the heart of manufacturing. But here's the thing about traditional manufacturing design.

As much as they have been effective methods for bringing some of the best products into the market, they are tremendously limited in their capabilities in terms of quantity, quality, scaling, and efforts. 

The worst of all is you end up wasting a significant portion of raw materials in order to end up with the final version, and this is what generative design champions.

This cutting-edge technology brings a change in manufacturing design by significantly reducing human intervention. It prepares the developmental landscape for scalability, quality, and time efficiency, making the complete process lean. If you are still unsure of how this technology can alleviate your business problems, here is the answer.

 The best part is it doesn't stop at this. This technology also offers multilayered benefits directly targeted at manufacturing businesses.

 This post brings to you the top five benefits that generative design brings to your manufacturing business in 2021.

5 reasons why generative design is the future of the manufacturing industry

generative design for manufacturing

Generative design is the future of manufacturing. Image source: Ntopolgy

To understand the reasons behind generative design adoption, it is critical to first understand the essence of the technology. The reason for the advent of generative design is relatively simple. It changes the approach of traditional manufacturing design development by bringing in scalability, cost-efficiency, quality, and quantity.

 The best part is all of that comes without integrating a huge workforce.

It harnesses the power of AI artificial intelligence and cloud computing and lets a designer create infinite versions of designs, all in a fraction of seconds. But if you are interested in an in-depth knowledge of how it does that, here's a handy generative design guide for you.

 Now let's take a look at the top five reasons why generative design is your smartest business decision in 2021.

1.   Cost optimization

The first benefit that your business can gain through generative design is cost optimization. But this comes in different ways. When developing your MVP (minimum viable product), product optimization is one of the key processes that you undergo. This means the more the number of alterations, the more the investments. While you cannot chuck out the reiteration process, you can certainly make it cost-effective with the help of generative design. Instead of making the complete MVP in hard form, you can create a soft form, 3D product to simulate the final product and test it amongst your users.

Another way is to develop a cheap version of your MVP with additive technology like a 3D printer and produce it in front of your users. When you use this method in the integration of generative design technology, there is very little raw material wastage and this ensures your production costs are minimal. 

But that is not all. 

This also optimizes your costs in terms of human labor. With the generative design, you can create as many designs as you want by deploying only one designer. This was certainly not the case with traditional manufacturing industries, as you had to deploy multiple designers to reach the final design approved for mass production. 

The bottom line of this benefit ensures that you enjoy higher ROI (Returns On Investments).   

2.  Streamline the process

Generative designs not only create cost-efficient products but boosts the overall development process. This means lean product development is one of the most beneficial features of generative design.

Generative design significantly reduces human involvement and gears up the manufacturing design process for building viable design versions for deployment. All of this is achieved through the power of AI and cloud computing. This means that rendering design options is no more a matter of days and weeks, but just minutes. 

This benefit of generative design has ensured that not only do you create winning products that your audience loves, but you also get to launch them faster to the market. This gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. You can learn fast and earn faster.

3.   Superior products

If there is one element that the generative design champions, it is high-performance in terms of quality. That being said, it can create complex, almost unachievable shapes and designs that the traditional model could not. All you need to realize this design is a 3D printer.

Because this software integrates the power of machine learning, it only gets better with time. This means that whatever your designs are, the quality of all the versions improves with each reiteration. But that is not all. Using the data learning model optimizes the vulnerable areas of your designs.

It can also simulate multiple design parts to combine them into one for developing complex, yet functional designs that create lightweight products.

For example, General Motors were able to consolidate the eight different components of a small and important part of the seat bracket into a single part bracket where seat belts are fastened, with the aid of generative manufacturing.

Moreover, it also simplifies the manufacturing process and maintenance as well as reduce the overall manufacturing process of the products.

This directly impacts the success of your product in the market. Building a uniquely capable product for your audience is much easier with generative designing aiding your development process.

4.   Time optimization

In business, time is synonymous with money. The generative design ensures that you end up with the maximum creative space.

The generative design lets your designer invest time in more productive work than sketching design versions by cutting down your time investment and decluttering your workspace. Through the use of the power of AI, machine learning, and cloud computing, this tool creates every possible design version under the manual constraints your designer subjects the design outcomes. This means the only thing your designer has to do is take quality decisions when it comes to designs and choose the constraints wisely.

This fast design development cycle ensures you can save valuable resources in terms of workforce and end up saving valuable business time that you can invest in other tasks like marketing the product.

5.   Maximum design options

The generative design provides maximum design options for your new product by offering the biggest constraint of the traditional manufacturing process. 

The use of AI and machine learning ensures that all viable designs are rendered. The best part is you can choose on the basis of the custom metrics that you have put up for your end product. This ensures your products are developed faster and optimized for mass production. But for all this, you do not need to invest in any big design team. A single designer can do this. However, here is a word of caution:

It is critical that you invest in a highly skilled designer during this process. If your designer doesn't have comprehensive knowledge of the design techniques, chances are you will end up with low-quality designs. 

For instance, Adidas, which is a popular footwear brand, has to deliver perfect shoes to its customers by confirming their arch, knee limitations, and running style.

So now that you know the benefits of generative design, let's take a look at the top tools that you can deploy here.

Generative designing tools

generative design in manufacturing

Generative design tool in action. Image source: ntopology

There are multiple generative design tools that claim to have similar capabilities. The following are our recommendations.

1. nTopology 

This tool tops our chart. With powerful features like accelerated design workflows, innovative design development, and multi-level goal-driven design rendering technology, this product is a beast. It also offers unique features like complete process control. All of this goodness comes for around $7500 a year per user. 

2. SelfCAD

It is the next generation of CAD. SelfCAD combines performance with cost efficiency. This product ensures you are supported throughout the product development cycle. It has distinguishable features like direct and surface-level modeling, parametric and mesh modeling, and more. The best part is it costs just $149 a year or $14.99/m.

SelfCAD is also very easy to use, and you don’t need to have experience in 3D modeling to use this software. 

3. SolidWorks 

This provides end-to-end solutions. Integrating the power of stress analysis tools and manufacturing viability checkers, this tool does it all. The product has a one-time cost of $3995 while an annual subscription costs $1295. 

4. Siemens NX  

This is infused with power and flexibility. Some of its unique features are multiscreen views for impact analysis and lattice and convergent design tools for material optimization. This tool costs you $279 per month per user. 

5. PTC Creo 

It integrates capabilities like parametric surfacing, augmented reality, routed system designs, and much more. It costs $2480 annually, per user.


Generative design is without a doubt the manufacturing technology of the future. But while you are at it, here's a word of caution.

Although powerful, the technology is still in its early stage of development. This gives you a competitive edge as an early adopter. That being said, you would develop another strong 'why' for your brand over your competitors. So now that you know the multifarious benefits of this technology, there is just one question to answer. 


When are you integrating generative design in your business?

Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.

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