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What's New in GENERATE

 

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Last week we announced a new release of our flagship product GENERATE. This marks the first release of Generate on Windows OS and introduces a new design paradigm of Interactive Generative Design in which users specify their functional requirements for a product and the design of the product is automatically generated with interactive updates. Generative Design can be further segmented into areas such as Topology Optimization and Lattices (Mesostructure).


This main theme of this release is Topology Optimization, where the user specifies a design volume, a set of loads & constraints defining the functional requirements of the part and Generate then enables the user to create the optimal design through a balance of artificial intelligence and human insight. With that background, let’s dive in and explore some of the key features of this release.

NATIVE CAD IMPORT

Import single parts or assemblies in any native CAD or neutral file format. Popular native CAD formats such as SolidWorks, CATIA V4/V5, NX, PTC Creo, Autodesk Inventor are supported along with neutral file formats such as STEP, IGES, Parasolid, SAT & JT. This allows you to easily reuse your existing CAD data and declare it as your ‘Generative Body’ inside Generate. The new generative design then takes shape inside this volume. You can choose to optimize a single generative body or simultaneously optimize multiple generative bodies in one go.

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INTERACTIONS

Interactions help define the keep-in regions or clearances between the generative body and interfacing parts. Unlike other systems where the keep-in regions have to be modeled in CAD and then imported, these are natively created in Generate. Users have parametric control over the interactions, these can be associatively updated at any point during the generative design process. In the image below, a ‘Connected’ interaction of 3 mm (keep-in region) is specified between the bar & the generative body.

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FACE GROUPS

An offset can also be directly applied to faces of the generative body to specify the keep-in regions. Users have parametric control over the offset, these can be associatively updated at any point during the generative design process. In the image below, a thickness of 3mm is applied to the bolt holes.

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MATERIAL LIBRARY

Materials feature allows you to create your own custom isotropic materials with material properties. You can create brand new materials or simply save the out of the box materials and modify its properties. This provides flexibility to work with custom materials and validate the FEA results for the design. Support for orthotropic & anisotropic materials will be added soon in an upcoming release.

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LOADS & CONSTRAINTS

Multiple types of loads and constraints are supported giving you the flexibility to specify the functional requirements of the part. Visual glyphs are displayed giving you insight into how the part is constrained. Multiple load cases are also supported.

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In this release the following types of Loads & Constraints are supported -


LOADS

CONSTRAINTS

Force

Fixed

Bearing Force

Pin Joint

Moment

Ball Joint

Acceleration

Planar Slider

Pressure

Linear Slider


OPTIMIZATION OBJECTIVES

This release of Generate supports the following types of optimization objectives.

  • Minimize compliance at target mass reduction - in this type you specify by how much % you want to drop the mass of the original design space.

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  • Minimize mass at target material safety factor - in this type you specify the target material safety factor and the system computes the minimum mass it can achieve to honor the specified material safety factor.

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INTERMEDIATE DESIGN UPDATES

As the generator kicks off, you get intermediate updates showing how the design is taking shape. That way you can react quickly to make design changes and do not have to wait for lengthy intervals only to realize that you wanted something else in the first place. This is a huge time saver especially for complex designs and allows you to watch the results update step by step. Also Generate is built from the ground up as multi-threaded application, so you are free to navigate around the app and make design changes even when the generator is running.

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REAL TIME FEA

A FEA mode allows you to view plots for von Mises Stress & Displacement Magnitude in real time. Results can be viewed per individual load cases or a combined output. Load cases can also be animated to see the effect of the various loads and constraints applied on the part.

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INTERACTIVE GENERATIVE DESIGN

At any point during the generative process, you can make design changes and watch the model associatively update. You also have the ability to pause & resume the generative process at any point. This provides you the flexibility to explore what-if design scenarios with associative updates in a fraction of the time compared to other systems.

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DESIGN CONSTRAINTS

Generate offers a number of design constraints that allows you to explore various design options and influence the design upfront keeping in mind how the part will be manufactured. These are easily applied as a single click workflow and can make significant impact on the final design. In the example below an ‘Extrusion’ constraint is applied on the same sample part, producing a part without any undercuts that can be easily machined.

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The following types of Design Constraints are supported in this release of Generate.


Planar Symmetry

Symmetrical design output around one or two planes.

Angular Symmetry

Symmetrical design output around an axis.

Draft

Ideal for cast or forged parts, system automatically creates an optimum parting line based on specified draft angle.

Self Supporting

Ideal for additive, minimizes the need for support structures.

Extrusion

Ideal for 2.5 or 3 axis machined parts.

Material Spreading

Controls how "spread out" the material should be. Increasing values progressively penalize thick solid regions, then walls, then struts.

 

STL EXPORT

The generative result can be exported in STL format to support your additive manufacturing workflows or for round tripping back to your CAD system. The STL export dialog gives you control over the mesh detail and decimation strength. A real time preview displays the triangulation level of detail and triangle count making it easy to visualize the output.

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GPU ENABLED

This release of Generate is GPU enabled for NVIDIA CUDA capable graphics cards with compute capability of 3.5 or greater. Optimization runs even faster by leveraging the power of the GPU to deliver a near real time design experience.


Please take a moment to check out these exciting updates up close by requesting a Demo. One of our experts will share with you the complete Generate solution including topology optimization, real time multi-physics simulation, TrueSOLID modeling and intelligent lattices.


If you already have access to the software, please take a moment to try out these features and let us know your feedback. We will be releasing frequent updates to the product, so your feedback will be valuable and help us shape the upcoming releases.


Shibai

Shibai Bagchi

Shibai Bagchi

In his current role as VP of Products, Shibai is responsible for driving the product & design strategy, vision and execution across Frustum products. He is particularly passionate about technology and taking early stage ideas and transforming them into innovative products. Shibai has over 15 years of experience in Computer Aided Design & Manufacturing. Prior to Frustum he has held leadership roles in software Product Management & Marketing across Autodesk, Siemens PLM software and GE Digital. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's Degree in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from Rochester Institute of Technology.