Designing a car to be as light as possible, but at the same time as strong and safe as possible, is not easy. Teams tackling this challenge must weigh many variables in a few permutations, taking into account material selection, manufacturing processes, and component design. Computer-aided design (CAD) software facilitates modeling and documenting ideas, but what if that software contributed creatively?

This is the generative design. The process begins with the designer describing to the program the problem they want to solve. The software then offers a wide range of solutions to this problem. “With one idea, software can quickly create high-performance design alternatives, many of which you would never have come up with yourself,” explains Peter Champney, a research engineer at Autodesk.

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