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The Generate-GrabCAD Challenge Winner’s Series: 1st Place - Salva Serrano

There were no shortage of creative, strong entries in our recent quadcopter GrabCAD challenge! The competition was to build the best quadcopter while using Generate to perform topology optimization and a few clearly stood above the rest.


winner_salva-serrano.png Today we speak to Salvador Serrano who took home the 1st place prize in the challenge. Salva is the co-founder of Ootro Estudio, where he fuses architecture, furniture design and data visualization to design pieces feature o n sites like Inhabitat, Plataforma Arquitectura, and The Functional Art.




Salva is in the process of developing research at the University of Alicante on how natural processes and patterns can be applied to structure design. Let’s see what he thought of the challenge, Generate and more.


What got you interested in the Generate-GrabCAD Quadcopter Challenge?

In this case entering the Generate challenge made a lot of sense because topology optimization as a design strategy has always fascinated me and is an essential part of my design process.

How would you describe your design process?

I start by thoroughly studying the materials and the judging criteria. In this case, I identified that the key criteria were the load cases because the relationship between function and form depend on them. Because Quadcopter frames are under the most stress during take-off, I focused my load case there. I also decided to include four landing feet in the frame to make take-offs and landings softer while protecting the payload.

I designed a meta-space to consider everything and then used Generate to perform volume reduction. I was pleasantly surprised by the result and how few adjustments I had to make after the optimization to ensure symmetry and solidity of the frame.

How did Generate help you create your final design?

I was surprised by its speed and, above all, the quality and smoothness of the shapes it creates, even while using a low level of resolution. I think Generate can be a very useful tool for designers that look for structural efficiency and material savings. It’s also quite easy to use.

Any final thoughts?

I had never tried any topology optimization software that ran in the cloud and this challenge gave me a great opportunity to see how one would work. It definitely gave me a positive impression.


Learn more about Salva Serrano and his work:


Learn more about the Grabcad Challenge Winners


Jesse Blankenship

Jesse Blankenship

A pioneer of generative design, Jesse founded Frustum, Inc. in 2014 to usher in a new paradigm of CAD. Recognized for his expertise, Jesse served as a Columbia University (MSAAD-2010) Researcher & Professor, teaching generative design and programming to hundreds of graduate students. Jesse also worked as a Senior Optimization Engineer at Autodesk Research for Additive Manufacturing and Aerospace applications. His work included leading the Optimization of the Airbus 2050 concept plane. As CEO of Frustum, Inc., Jesse has enjoyed growing a profitable and innovative company by establishing strong relationships, commercial agreements and OEM partnerships.