How Generative Design is Changing Product Management

The difference generative design makes in product management and development is large, but many designers and engineers are still skeptical about it!

Product management tasks can get immensely complicated for engineers, and one of the most significant issues regarding this is optimization issues! As a result, engineering and design teams continuously seek to deal with product development and management tasks through optimization, interpretations, and refinement.

With technology evolving rapidly, it has bought so many new alternatives for designers to optimize their product management. Digital analysis has developed to a point where designs can be evaluated in a short period of time.

Let’s not waste any more time because, in this article, we will discuss how generative design has changed the product management and development phase forever.

How has generative design impacted product management?

Generative design is changing the product development process

You may ask how generative design is managing to accomplish this? Well, you can thank it for allowing a reduction in material used during the manufacturing phase. Overall, the generative design relieves designers and engineers since they need to use less material during the development phase. This will directly affect expenses that are made during product development.

Lightweight is the new trend in product development and is a term used in generative design to reduce objects' weight to increase overall performance. But, of course, using less material will also mean that you’ll be saving more money. For instance, Airbus is a perfect example of using less material. It is now wholly using generative design to make its manufacturing and development phase much simpler and easier, using less material and weight.

Airbus managed to reduce CO2 emissions by 500,000 tons! So, generally speaking, those who prefer to use generative design are working towards a green environment and are concerned about protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions.

Product optimization

Since there’s a significant difference in the product development phase due to generative design, it dramatically makes operations more efficient and reduces the overall design time of products. So how do companies manage to do this? Well, they start by digitizing 2D drawings with 3D modeling and gather all the designs that the engineering and architect team have created. Afterwards, they’ll classify these designs as digital models.

Moreover, companies can create modular housing concepts with more than 100 components through the power of generative design. Afterwards, they can set their prices and codes. Thanks to this, companies can save lots of time and money. Let’s not forget that they can also work with more clients since they’ll manage to finish things quicker!

Generative design is flexible

Generative design and additive manufacturing (AM) technologies go in hand with each other. AM machines are excellent at coping with complex and organic shapes from such algorithms. However, AM is not always necessary for implementing a generative design.

The flexibility of generative design overcomes the limits of product development and management. Thus, making it much easier for engineers and designers to come up with other manufacturing alternatives.

Generative algorithms aren’t limited to any structural-design tasks. So, the generative algorithm approaches are being applied to thermal & electrical design, optics, fluid-flow optimization, and more. In addition, most architects and engineers use generative techniques to optimize city spaces. Finally, let’s not forget that generative algorithms are applied to complex optimization issues within a product-design space! Thus, it is easier for engineers and design teams to seek alternative methods of what to do with a product-design space.

It differs from traditional product management methods

You may hear this question a lot, and many perspectives come into play, giving you a different answer every time this question is asked. However, the traditional process promotes finding a design for your product, and after, you follow a manufacturing method to fulfill your purpose.

Designs depend on the manufacturing process, so they change with different manufacturing methods. That being said, if you change your manufacturing method, you will need to make significant adjustments to your product design. Thus, it’ll cost your team lots of time.

Generative design solves this problem over traditional product management methods since it figures out numerous strategies for different types of manufacturing methods, so in this case, we highly recommend it for you.

The numerous outcomes offer many complex shapes that you would never be able to achieve with traditional methods. In addition, this provides you with new manufacturing methods for product production optimization.

Numerous products require a high level of detail, such as material restrictions and weight reduction, which adds complexities during the development phase. The generative design solves these issues and increases your available time for design preparation.

Thanks to generative design, all of these complex issues are solved. It offers an iterative approach that provides a final design outcome where the algorithm will go through numerous iterations. A software test will be conducted on the design through each iteration. With the work of the software, the iteration will become fully optimized. This loop will keep going until an outcome is achieved.

The use of CAD software

Product developers and engineers will always be creating new product designs. However, the most practical option is to use CAD software. CAD software is used for design and technical documentation, replacing manual drafting with an automative process. You have 2D, and 3D CAD programs that will draft construction documentation, deeply explore design ideas and create visual concepts through realistic renderings. Thus, it helps show you how a product design will work in real life.

CAD software has been around for many decades and has made the manufacturing and product management process much easier for design engineers. Thus, before starting to work on anything, design engineers define design parameters and functional requirements by choosing the material type, measuring the weight of an object, the costs, the manufacturing process, and the size of the product.

Finally, the software will start to calculate optimal geometry and create numerous design drafts for meeting the product design requirements and criteria needed. Moreover, this is how CAD software integrates well with the product development and management process through the help of generative design.
AI integration

The generative design will offer you thousands of design alternatives, and after these are created, the AI will help you choose which ones are the most suitable for your requirements. Alternatively, the design engineer can suggest other design variants and materials and recommend parameters for the lightest design models.

AI has evolved to allow design engineers to optimize their design goals and targets quickly. After the designs used are chosen, prototypes will be printed in a 3D model and passed onto a test based on their data quality, costs, and more. Let’s not forget how much time and money the AI saves you!

Does generative design play a major role in product management?

You bet! Generative design has already shown how it can boost overall performance in real-world apps. However, companies' full potential will never be reached until they apply these concepts and integrate them into their day-to-day product management and development phases.

Overall, if you gather the right software tools, it’ll affect your success level even more. However, engineers need to understand that their discipline will matter too. Even though the generative design does most of the work, engineers must validate the output and testing throughout the development phase.

Overall, generative design will continue to evolve as algorithms evolve and get much smarter, where they will allow engineers to utilize these new tools with a wide range of new applications. First, however, companies must ensure that they are applying a generative design approach. Generative algorithms offer multiple points in the product journey, which are:

  • The initial concept: The phase where new shapes and geometries are created.

  • Engineering and in-detail designs: Achieves new levels of product performance and reduces costs at a minimal level.

  • The manufacturing phase: Assess candidate geometries for the manufacturing process and use additive-manufacturing methods.

  • Product improvement: Supports design cost, value, additional value, marginal improvement, and more.

  • Procurement: Improves pricing tradeoffs, risk, traceability, and more.

The final word

That’s about it for this article. This is all on how generative design impacts product management and development. Overall, traditional methods have significantly made it harder for engineers to save time and money on creating a product design. However, with the help of generative design, engineers are saving time and are able to look at more product design alternatives.

Software tools have also come to the aid of engineers, allowing them to overcome any difficulties and save time while focusing on more important things in the product management and development phase. It isn’t easy to be an engineer, but generative design has provided many new alternatives and a reduction in the product weight, which allows engineers to increase their operational efficiency!

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