August 10, 2022

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Autodesk slashes price of generative design software by 80%

4 min read

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Engineering program developer Autodesk has introduced a substantial price tag reduction of 80% for the Generative Style Extension of its Fusion 360 CAD program.

Commercially launched back in 2018 for an yearly membership of $8,000 for each 12 months, the AI-driven extension has often been rather inaccessible to everyone other than big engineering and manufacturing companies. Now, consumers will be provided full entry to unrestricted generative style and design studies for just $200 a thirty day period or $1,600 a year, generating geometrically-optimized 3D printing much less expensive than ever.

Along with the subscription design, Autodesk also runs a ‘cloud credits’ licensing model for users performing on a per-venture basis. Right before the selling price update, buyers would spend 25 cloud credits ($25) to create an editable design and 100 cloud credits ($100) to export the model.

Now, prospects are ready to consolidate each the examine generation and the design export into one particular offer, all at a mostly diminished cost of 33 credits ($33). Primarily based on the new selling price structure, it is a lot more price tag-efficient to opt for the subscription model when operating extra than 4 scientific tests a month.

Generatively designed motorcycle components can be optimized for weight and strength at the same time. Image via Autodesk.
Generatively developed bike components can be optimized for pounds and power at the similar time. Graphic via Autodesk.

What is generative style?

Generative structure, or topology optimization, is a target-oriented approach to aspect layout. Generally utilized together with 3D printing technology, generative design and style software requires as input a quantity of design goals these kinds of as aspect overall performance, spatial constraints, resources, manufacturing processes, and charge constraints. By to start with discovering all doable iterations of a element, the algorithms of a generative layout software are equipped to find the most optimal topology, saving on costs and product use even though maximizing mechanical efficiency.

Autodesk’s Generative Design Extension is a person this sort of system. The software has seen many attribute updates considering the fact that its launch, including a devoted price tag estimation device, and has currently been used by numerous industrial shoppers in additive production assignments.

For illustration, bicycling enterprise SRAM has earlier utilized the Generative Layout Extension to build geometrically optimized pieces for its bikes. Utilizing 3D printing engineering, the company was able to fabricate a new bicycle crank arm that was twice as strong as the legacy layout although reducing the pounds of the element by 20%.

Aerospace manufacturer Airbus has also utilised the resource to reimagine numerous structural aircraft components in a bid to conserve critical excess weight. Exclusively, the business 3D printed a ‘bionic partition’ used to divide the passenger compartment from the galley of the A320 aircraft. The prototype was 45% lighter than the usually manufactured counterpart and just as sturdy.

“Experience and perception put us in a place to dramatically maximize accessibility to the technology and invite a considerably broader swath of Autodesk customers to see what is probable with generative design and style,” explained Stephen Hooper, VP and General Supervisor of Autodesk Fusion 360. “Giving structure teams of any measurement and funds an possibility to take edge of it has been our vision due to the fact inception, as we consider it will be fantastic for everyone.”

A generatively designed bike crank arm 3D printed by SRAM. Photo via Autodesk.
A generatively built bike crank arm 3D printed by SRAM. Picture via Autodesk.

Geometric optimization and 3D printing

Autodesk’s Generative Style Extension is not the only device in the discipline of topology optimization. Previously this calendar year, 3D printer maker Stratasys and engineering program developer nTopology added a new Masking Fixture Module to their FDM Fixture Generator design automation instrument. The software is created specifically to streamline the style for additive production process for 3D printed jigs, fixtures, and other tooling.

About in the educational area, scientists from the University of Liege and the Delft College of Technological innovation not too long ago formulated a new technique of topology optimization made exclusively for huge-scale 3D printed parts. Incorporating nozzle dimension constraints straight into the technique, the approach is intended for huge-scale processes these kinds of as Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), Directed Vitality Deposition (DED), or concrete additive manufacturing.

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Showcased impression shows a generatively developed bike crank arm 3D printed by SRAM. Image by way of Autodesk.

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