Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups by informing visitors about what our customers imagine, design, and make using our software.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, at this year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 19 new exhibits. Some of these may resurface in San Francisco.
The Next Generation Vehicle Lightweighting exhibit is one such exhibit from AU:
- General Motors // more
- Autodesk Fusion 360 // more
Since 2016, GM has launched 14 new vehicle models with a total mass reduction of about 350 pounds per vehicle.
GM is a leading innovator in additive manufacturing and vehicle lightweighting. Since 2016, GM has launched 14 new vehicle models with a total mass reduction of more than 5,000 pounds, which works out to more than 350 pounds per vehicle. Most of that weight reduction is a result of advances in materials and technology.
Reducing vehicle weight not only cuts fuel costs but can also extend electric car range and provide more interior space. New approaches and technologies were needed to push these goals even further for efficient and lighter alternative propulsion and zero emission vehicles. In an initial proof-of-concept project, GM and Autodesk engineers used generative design technology to reconceive a small but important vehicle component — the bracket where seat belts are fastened.
GM used generative design to produce 150 design options, an organic structure no human could have imagined that was 40% lighter and 20% stronger, and consolidated 8 different components into one 3D-printed part.
Using generative design and additive manufacturing:
Produced more than 150 valid design options based on parameters the engineers set, such as required connection points, strength, and mass.
Generated a new design with an organic structure no human could have imagined.
Resulted in a new seat belt bracket that is 40% lighter and 20% stronger than the original part.
Consolidated 8 different components into one 3D-printed part.
If additive manufacturing were a door to the automotive future, generative design would be the key to unlock it. Generative design is a way for GM to explore different design solutions for parts and components of their vehicles by using the cloud and artificial intelligence to combine the engineer and the computer. By getting them to work together, GM can come up with part-design solutions that would be impossible to generate with either the computer or the engineer working alone. GM plans to utilize generative design on future product designs. And as part of a multiyear alliance focused on innovation, GM and Autodesk will collaborate on projects involving generative design, additive manufacturing, and materials science.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). When 70% of the spare parts we make today aren't ever needed, we're losing the efficiencies of manufacturing within inefficient supply chains. GM and Autodesk recognize that the time has come for processes that can manufacture more and better with less.
This is a moment that matters. The inevitability of more demand and the reality of less means an opportunity for something better. With advances in design and automation, lessons learned through adjacent industries and peers, and integrations across the technology spectrum, we can design and make a better world. Together, we can make anything.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Lightweighting is alive in the lab.