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The Generate-GrabCAD Challenge Winner’s Series: 3rd Place - Michael van der Bent

Next up in our series of profiles about the finalists of the Generate-GrabCAD Quadcopter Challenge is 3rd place winner, Michael van der Bent.


winner_michael-van-der-bent.png Michael is an Improvement Engineer at ThyssenKrupp Accessibility, a company which develops and produces stairlifts. He started in industrial product design but after his studies, started working at various engineering agencies. There, he started to be exposed to more complex simulations and topology optimization, making him a perfect fit for this challenge.



We caught up with Michael to discuss his participation in the Generate-GrabCAD challenge, learn more about his design process and see what he thought after his extended time using Generate.



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

I’ve been interested in topology optimization in general from previous personal projects and had given Generate a try when it was in beta. The huge potential of the platform was immediately clear. The challenge gave me a perfect opportunity to dive back into the platform and do something more complex.

How would you describe your design process?

When working with topology optimization software, your process has to shift. The functionality of the part determines the development of the shape, rather than the other way around. In this case, I used Generate to simulate the results of my optimized shape and then modeled it from there knowing that.

How did Generate help you create your final design?

First off, Generate is able to create optimizations quickly compared to competitive software. Because Generate allowed me to see results quickly, it was easier to do more iterations. More iterations means that I can check and improve my inputs more frequently which culminates in a better design.

Any final thoughts?

One important feature I didn’t mention is that, because Generate is handling the optimizations in the cloud, and not on my PC, it is easy to do multiple optimizations simultaneously. And more importantly, the optimizations result in material savings, product weight reduction and increased strength all while providing an aesthetically pleasing design.


Learn more about Michael:


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.