2020 looks like an exciting year for the design and development industry. New development software tools are cropping up as emerging technologies and innovations such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things take hold in various sectors. There is no denying how rapid and steady technological advances have helped engineers, architects, and designers create and develop solid and reliable designs that result in energy-efficient buildings, stronger roads, and infrastructure, smarter cars, safer aircraft, more reliable mobile devices, even better everyday appliances.
Old development systems are slowly giving way to more modern software development tools. New platforms that come with advanced features and capabilities make tasks and processes streamlined and simplified. But with the anticipated technological evolutions that are expected to happen this year and in the near future, things are set to get better.
The design and development landscape is bound to undergo massive and unprecedented overhaul as these new trends are set to shake the industry.
1. Design Automation
Design automation via generative design tool is poised to take stir the design and development industry. And it's not difficult to picture out why.
Designers in every industry are tasked to create designs for thousands of products based on requirements and specifications supplied by their clients. It's not hard to imagine how tedious and exhaustive design and development work can be if designers have to do everything manually, from drawing drafts to creating scale models to calculating specs in relation to their scale.
The introduction of the computer-aided design software back in the early 2010s significantly accelerated the design process. With the help of CAD software, designers can simply input their designs along with their parameters and specifications and the software does the rest.
But with the generative design functionality, it gets better.
Designers and professionals like engineers and architects can input their design requirements into the software. These requirements entail not only the specifications but also other specific variables like spatial requirements, materials, temperature, speed limits, budget constraints, and more. The software automatically explores all scenarios and generates multiple designs based on the variables entered. The system tests every design and takes into account what works or not and then creates alternative iterations.
This means designers are not stuck on their desks toiling on a few designs and tinkering with software tools for program development in-system programming. Design automation does all the hard work, from creating and testing. They are basically presented with a rich selection of designs and all they have to do is pick the best concept/s that suit their needs and purpose.
But the real benefit of design automation is not just the vast number of design alternatives. It speeds up the manufacturing time by automating design decisions while drastically cutting labor costs and reducing emissions.
In 2018, the generative design software industry was valued at $137 million. Experts believe that the market value will hit the $290-million mark by 2023. It is an apparent indication that design automation will be a staple feature in the design and development landscape.
2. Massive Cloud Migration
Apparently, the best software development tools and systems are hosted in the cloud. CAD industry leaders and decision-makers anticipate businesses and organizations to replace their on-premise CAD solutions and move to cloud-based design and development tools. SelfCAD is a good example of a CAD program running on the cloud and in a few years to come many other CAD software will be taken to the cloud. So this is the best time for you to get familiar with the cloud-based programs to make it easier for you to adapt.
According to a report by Statista, 33% of CAD users all over the world reported hearing about cloud-based CAD systems but did not have plans to invest in it. Only 9% of the respondents said they have deployed cloud-based CAD software.
Non-users cited the constant need for internet access, network security issues, and annual subscription fees as primary reasons why they chose not to move their design and development data and processes to the cloud
But things are set to change. Cedric Desbordes, sales and marketing executive for a leading CAD software company, sees more and more CAD users shifting the cloud in the foreseeable future. Desbordes enumerated in an article the huge benefits of cloud-based CAD and other design and development software solutions.
Design and development tools hosted in the cloud enables seamless communication and collaboration among different users and teams. Engineers and designers have access to the same information and tools. They can quickly take a look at their projects, leave comments and suggestions as well as enter their design inputs and modifications for everybody else to see and work with.
Because everyone is on the same page, implementation is expedited while errors and issues are quickly resolved. Plus, engineers, designers, and developers can work on their tasks from literally anywhere and still be efficient and effective. Some CAD programs that are already running on the cloud have combined artistic, technical and 3D printing features all under one program like SelfCAD. This means you don’t need to download any other when you want to prepare your designs for 3D printing.
3. Virtual Reality
Design and development is a highly visual kind of work, which explains the constant use of drafts, blueprints, and scale models. Occasionally, there is also a need for data visualization systems as engineers, architects, and other design professionals need to see data in a more visual manner.
Speaking of which, this compilation of data visualization tools will provide you with the best articles and reviews on the leading data visualization platforms.
There is no other platform or technology that makes designs more visual than virtual reality. And said technology is becoming popular among engineers, designers, architects, and other design professionals. In fact, design and development software vendors are actively seeking ways to fully incorporate VR technology to their products.
Virtual Reality is not new technology. But its myriad of benefits has found applications in various verticals, design and development included. Imagine being able to walk through a building or go under the hood or the underside of an automobile without being physically inside or near and perform your tasks down to the tee. VR enables users to make significant adjustments to address design flaws in real-time and spot other areas of improvement on the dime.
VR will speed up the design and development process, shorten the manufacturing time while improving the quality of the end product. For users, VR is not just presenting them with a new and innovative way to view their design. It adds more depth, more control, and better experience, which ultimately results in better products that are on par with or even exceed clients' expectations.
The Future of Design and Development
They say the future's not set in stone. In most cases, the said adage has proven to be true. Anything and everything can change in an instant. But in the design and development industry, the future certainly looks fixed and certain.
The aforementioned technologies and trends are expected to change the design and development game, hopefully for the better. From this vantage point, it sure looks that way.
Engineers and developers don’t have to waste precious time creating viable designs. Development teams working in seamless unison via the cloud is already a reality. Virtual reality is poised to become a standard technology for the majority of this industry.
If you were a betting man and you want to bet on the future of your enterprise, then these technologies are the ones you have to look out for. They are already trending. You don’t want to be caught stranded on the wrong foot when these trends become the shakers that impact your industry.