Generative design uses the immense power of the Internet and artificial intelligence (AI) software to produce multiple possibilities when creating a new design. After entering some basic information such as the weight and height of a new design and options for materials, the generative design program returns multiple possibilities for a new structure. These are usually far beyond what any human mind could come up with on its own. Generative design also has a significant impact on project length and doesn't affect the environment to the degree that other types of construction design do.

How Generative Design Differs from the Traditional Approach

Computer aided design (CAD) was the architectural design method of choice before generative design came on the scene. When using CAD, designers must already know what they intend to create and then draw it with the aid of the program. Generative design, on the other hand, is predictive and mimics the earth's natural evolutionary approach. Users need only know the general parameters they want to work with before receiving hundreds or thousands of design possibilities with generative design.

Demand Expected to Grow through at Least 2024

In 2018, the value of the generative design market was $137 million dollars. This number is expected to more than double in the next five years to $290 million. Industry analysts credit increased efficiency in production and the desire for more environmentally conscious design options as the leading reasons for the anticipated demand. The industries that have benefitted the most so far include industrial manufacturing, aerospace and defense, and automotive among several others.

Current Examples of Generative Design

Knowing the definition of degenerative design is one thing but learning of examples of the AI program in action really helps to cement understand of it. Here are some examples of generative design used in currently manufactured products:

  • General Motors recently created a seatbelt bracket that offers 20 times the strength even though it weighs 40 percent less than its predecessors. It takes just eight steps to create the lightweight seatbelt bracket, which is not visible inside of a vehicle. That means manufacturers can focus strictly on safety and not aesthetics of the design.
  • Patterned after nature and origami, the TAMU chair offers a unique design and the ability to fold itself almost completely flat. Using generative design enabled the designers to make elaborate patterns based on naturally occurring structures in nature. The TAMU chair weighs only five pounds due to the ability to use as little material as possible.
  • Airbus, the giant European aerospace company, used generative design to create a better partition to separate one cabin from another aboard its planes. The result was a product that saved millions of dollars in fuel because it was half the weight of the design it replaced. Best of all, the new cabin partitions enabled Airbus to continue abiding by Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.

The above are just three current examples of generative design in action. The next five years should bring numerous other new products that reduce costs while improving service at the same time.