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Unveiled—Autodesk Generative Design Brings Power of Machine Intelligence to Manufacturing

The technology formerly known as Project Dreamcatcher is now unveiled as Autodesk Generative Design.


Formerly known as Project Dreamcatcher, Autodesk this week has formerly unveiled a new product offering named Autodesk Generative Design. The new technology brings the power of machine intelligence to the company’s additive manufacturing (3D printing) software.

Tony Stark For Everyone

Comic fans know who Tony Stark is and Greg Fallon, VP of Simulation at Autodesk, does too. Making the point that Stark uses his brain as an engineer to derive his superpowers, Fallon says the new Autodesk Generative Design technologies take CAD to the next level—using the power of machine intelligence and computation to help the designer design not just document their design.

Incubating as Project Dreamcatcher in a research group, early customers like Airbus and Under Armour got involved.

Generative Design—How It Works

Generative design is not the same as algorithmic design. In the former, the designer feeds the generative design software “goals”—things like strength, weight, size, material type, etc. The criteria are then used by cloud computing to generate massive iterations or possible solutions.

01 – Black & Decker was an early explorer of Autodesk’s generative design technologies. In a video they discuss the many benefits. Autodesk this week unveiled the productization of the technology formerly known as Dreamcatcher. (Image source: YouTube video screen capture, Autodesk).

The key thing about this new technology is that the generative design software comes up with solutions that the designer would likely never come up with. Why?

Because often they are simply too difficult to model or counter-intuitive. But they work. And better. And this is what is truly innovative about where this type of technology is going with manufactured products.

Closing Thoughts

Autodesk is not alone is this space or even first. Many of its MCAD rivals have similar technology, but Autodesk’s generative design technology will fit within its overall cloud-based and subscription-only product portfolio. And this is where the technology becomes more interesting as it can be pluralized across products and sectors.

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