Computational Design insights from nTop, LatticeRobot, Hyperganic Group, Additive Flow, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre were shared at DEVELOP3D Live.


3D Printing Industry recently attended the DEVELOP3D LIVE event in Coventry, UK, where we had the opportunity to listen to expert speakers discuss the future of advanced design software. One of the speakers, Bradley Rothenberg, the CEO of nTop, provided valuable insights into the potential of computational design and how it can revolutionize the manufacturing industry.

Rothenberg emphasized that design software has always been a bottleneck in the creative process. However, he believes that computational design can remove these limitations and unlock endless possibilities. nTop, a provider of advanced engineering software, offers tools for topology optimization and generative design. Generative design, in particular, is a groundbreaking approach that allows designers to specify their goals and constraints, and then generates designs that meet those requirements through an iterative process.

According to Rothenberg, topology optimization is commonly used later in the design cycle. It involves finding the optimal balance of materials based on user-specified constraints. He even joked that nTop, previously known as nTopology, has been optimized, highlighting the company’s commitment to constantly improving their software.

Rothenberg highlighted the limitations of traditional design methods, stating that we can manufacture more complex parts than we can design. He attributed this issue to the outdated digital tool stack that has failed to keep up with digital manufacturing capabilities. He compared current design principles to those used in the 1980s with drafting tables, emphasizing the need for a more modern approach.

To address this challenge, Rothenberg proposed the concept of generative design, which separates the logical and physical processes of creating a part. This approach allows designers to define functional requirements upfront, while the software generates the necessary design. nTop’s software integrates real-world physics into design parameters, allowing designers to create models grounded in reality.

Rothenberg also highlighted how their modernized strategies have addressed complexity challenges. Their software enables continuous integration and deployment, allowing teams to rerun, reuse, and share designs effectively. Leveraging a differentiated tech stack, nTop’s software allows for intricate part design and improved performance.

The CEO shared a couple of standout projects that showcase the transformative potential of computational design. One is an aerospace heat exchanger developed in collaboration with the Air Force Research Lab. This heat exchanger promises a 5% reduction in volume, superior heat transfer, and enhanced pressure drop compared to traditional models. Another project comes from Life Enabled, which uses nTop’s technology to expedite the design process for customized prosthetics, ensuring a turnaround of less than a week.

Rothenberg’s thoughts on the future of computational design were further explored in a panel discussion moderated by SJ from Develop3D. The industry experts discussed the potential of computational design and additive manufacturing in various industries. They highlighted the success of dental aligners as a consumer product that has greatly benefited from computational design. However, they also stressed the need for a mentality shift in industries to fully harness the potential of computational design.

In conclusion, DEVELOP3D LIVE provided valuable insights into the future of advanced design software and the transformative potential of computational design. The experts, including Bradley Rothenberg, emphasized the importance of moving away from outdated design principles and embracing modern tools that can unlock endless possibilities. With the emergence of generative design and topology optimization, it is clear that computational design and 3D printing will play a crucial role in shaping the future of manufacturing.

to change, he believes that people are inherently curious and adaptable. He stated, “We just need to show them what’s possible and provide the tools and resources for them to embrace new technologies.”

Alice Wise from MTC echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of education and case studies in shifting mindset. She stressed the need for industry influencers to push the boundaries and demonstrate the potential of computational design.

Alex Pluke of Additive Flow highlighted the financial aspect of adopting computational design. He pointed out that technologies like AI have received massive investments due to their accessibility, and it’s essential to show the financial benefits of embracing computational design to traditional industries.

The panel also discussed the challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration. Rothenberg questioned if different disciplines, such as electronic and chemical engineering, always speak the same language and have the same priorities. This emphasizes the need for a cohesive design approach that integrates various disciplines seamlessly.

Matt Shomper suggested a shift in the approach to traditional CAD systems, moving towards a broader systems engineering scope. By considering not only the physical product but also the multiphysics assessment of the design domain, computational design can provide more effective solutions.

The discussion concluded with the consensus that the future of design lies in the integration of mechanical design with the software realm. This convergence will enable more efficient and effective products and solutions.

Overall, the panel emphasized the transformative potential of computational design across various industries. While there are barriers to adoption, such as legacy mindsets and financial considerations, the experts believe that with education, case studies, and the right tools and resources, computational design can revolutionize the way we approach design and manufacturing.

The panelists at the DEVELOP3D LIVE event recently had a thought-provoking discussion on the adoption of advanced design software and emerging technologies. One of the recurring themes was the importance of presenting data to gain trust and initiate a dialogue about unfamiliar technologies.

Bradley Rothenberg, for instance, highlighted the success of Joby Aviation in incorporating 3D printed components in their test flights. By showcasing compelling data on the effectiveness of this innovation, Joby Aviation was able to push the boundaries of existing systems and gain acceptance.

Another interesting point made during the panel was about leveraging free tools to meet industry qualifications. Rothenberg mentioned a software engineer who used GitHub instead of traditional PLM systems to meet FDA qualifications. This example demonstrates the importance of thinking innovatively within existing frameworks and utilizing the resources available.

Alex Pluke from Additive Flow drew attention to the secrecy surrounding leading-edge technologies in the industry. While companies understandably want to protect their intellectual property, Pluke emphasized the need to find a balance between secrecy and shared knowledge in order to inspire innovation.

Design thinking was also emphasized as a crucial aspect of adopting advanced technologies. Pluke mentioned that tools like AI and computational engineering can empower individuals, but it is important to have a human-driven design approach. This sentiment was echoed by Alice Wise, who compared the skepticism towards new technology to the slow acceptance of electric cars.

In summary, the panelists agreed that skepticism towards new technologies still exists, but there is a rising trend towards adopting advanced tech solutions. To overcome this skepticism, it is crucial to present compelling data, think innovatively within existing frameworks, and draw inspiration from industry leaders. Additionally, the panelists stressed the importance of clear goals in generative design and the potential of AI tools in capturing and codifying design requirements.

Overall, the DEVELOP3D LIVE panel provided valuable insights into the future of technology adoption in the design industry. It is clear that both technical advancements and industry-specific constraints will shape the trajectory of this adoption. By staying informed and open to new possibilities, professionals in the design industry can navigate this balance and drive innovation forward.

Original source


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