Imagine being able to repair a piece of equipment with a part that was printed on your 3-D printer.  The ability to generate a  solution that is made to order and on-demand will not only save time, but will also enable people to solve their own problems.  Will it have an impact on mechanics and others that would otherwise be performing repair work?  Possibly, but it also gives them the ability to fill this niche as well.

In a Forbes article entitled, “Additive Manufacturing: Possibility Meets Reality Through Generative Design”, Jesse Coors-Blankenship described the big picture:

There is a seismic shift occurring in manufacturing, fueled by the fourth industrial revolution and shaped by digital transformation. It is redefining the expectations of industries, companies and buyers. Traditional manufacturing processes — with slow and cumbersome design-to-production flows, based on rigid design tools — are giving way to new technologies. Additive manufacturing and generative design are transforming supply chains, recasting conventional manufacturing roles, and facilitating the innovation and customization buyers seek.

What about generative design?

The role of generative design in this new on-demand economy is essential. The symbiotic relationship between generative design and additive manufacturing is at the core of this metamorphosis, transforming industrial engineering into boundless engineering. Generative design combines the creativity of the engineer with artificial intelligence and cloud-computing to produce designs ready for 3-D manufacture. Parts designed through this process are lighter, stronger and use far fewer materials than those designed using traditional CAD software. In essence, generative design turns industrial engineers into curators of the best design, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and known today.

What is generative design?  Here are a few places to start:

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