Global material handling equipment manufacturer, Claudius Peters, is using generative design tools to inspire improved part shapes that don’t rely on 3D printing. Autodesk’s Asif Moghal took to the main stage to share how.
Oren Harari, a business professor at the University of San Francisco, famously said that, ‘The electric light didn’t come from the continuous improvement of candles’. The quote aptly illustrates the power of generative design, and how embracing the power of modern digital technologies shouldn’t be seen as a project, but an inner attitude.
Autodesk’s senior manufacturing manager, Asif Moghal recently met Thomas Nagel, the chief digital officer at German-headquartered Claudius Peters. The international material handling equipment manufacturer was established more than 100 years ago and Nagel’s role is to ensure the business continues to evolve and adapt over the next 100 years.
According to Moghal, Nagel views digital transformation as an opportunity to redefine Claudius Peters’ relationship with its customers in three broad ways: redefine collaboration with customers, steer away from products to new services, and solve completely different market problems with new technology.
Nagel was quoted as saying: “Yesterday’s know-how provides few answers to the questions of today and tomorrow, which means we need new skills to learn and allow new ways of thinking, new structures and vastly improved communication. We need to embrace cultural change to become an agile company in all areas.”
To experience just what was possible, Claudius Peters partnered with Autodesk on a handful of projects, one of which centered on generative design.
What is generative design?
Put simply, generative design allows computers to do the heavy lifting, freeing up engineers and designers to truly innovate.
By sharing with the computer what it is you want to achieve, and the parameters or constraints involved, the power and scalability of the cloud allows thousands of design possibilities to be created. This allows you to discover what the trade-offs are between them and ultimately arrive at the optimum design.
What’s most exciting, is that generative design isn’t held back by the limits of human creativity or bias:
LEFT: a traditionally, human-designed seat buckle | RIGHT: the same assembly generatively designed
For their generative design project, Claudius Peters choose to re-engineer one of their internal clinker cooler components with a focus on reducing cost and weight.
PHOTO BELOW: Original part –
PHOTO BELOW: Optimised part courtesy of a designer –
PHOTO BELOW: The starting point for Claudius Peters engineers attending an Autodesk Generative Design (AGD) workshop –
PHOTO BELOW: The first result at the end of day one of the AGD workshop, a design which can only be produced using additive manufacturing techniques
PHOTO BELOW: Claudius Peters engineers re-engineered the computer’s design to produce something that incorporated many of the benefits but was manufacturable using traditional techniques –
PHOTO BELOW: By embracing new techniques, technologies and approaches, Claudius Peters embodies the Future of Making Things
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