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Design technology prepares for future

/ 05:54 AM January 09, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–Design technology continues to evolve and Autodesk tracks significant changes to make sure that our customers have the best design tools and are equipped for the future.

Here are some of trends that are keeping Autodesk and our customers busy and intrigued about the future of making things.

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Humans and robots working together: Today, robots are being fed big data, analytics and machine learning. Robotics will evolve into collaborative robotics, with humans playing a proactive role and working alongside robots. For example, Bloomberg reported that Toyota is becoming more efficient by replacing some robots with craftspeople: “Humans are taking the place of machines in plants across Japan so workers can develop new skills and figure out ways to improve production lines and the car-building process.”

Generative design: This is one of the most exciting times to be a designer. What if a computer-aided design (CAD) system could automatically generate tens, hundreds, or even thousands of design options that all meet your specific design criteria? It’s no longer what if: it’s Autodesk’s Project Dreamcatcher, the next generation of computational design. Dreamcatcher is a generative design system that lets designers input design objectives, including functional requirements, material type, manufacturability, performance criteria, and cost parameters. The power of the cloud then takes over. This doesn’t replace the designer—far from it. It does the grunt work, processing and evaluating design tradeoffs at a speed impossible for humans.

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Living buildings and bespoke materials: New materials and building typologies are being made possible through computer-aided design. In the future, most buildings and products will be made of bespoke materials, requiring today’s global standards like ISO to evolve. For example, David Benjamin, founding principal of the design and research studio The Living, is collaborating with plant biologists at the University of Cambridge in England to grow new composite materials from bacteria.

Biotech is the next info tech: Biotech is the use of living systems and organisms to develop products. It’s one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global economy. The pharma industry is suffering because product development takes longer and has rising costs. Synthetic biology based on digital design tools could help by making biotechnology more accessible to more innovators.

Design tech is enabling nano-to-meter scale breakthroughs: Autodesk is working with scientists, academia and customers on cross-scale design projects, from molecular biology to tissue engineering to self-assembling human-scale manufacturing. We are researching the intersection of programmable (bio, nano) matter and design spaces such as manufacturing, construction and digital entertainment. Life and other forms of programmable matter are successfully being reprogrammed and can be conceived as emergent design spaces.

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TAGS: Autodesk, Biotech, Design, design technology
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