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What is the current status of Onshape + Generative Design?

andrew_kleinertandrew_kleinert Member Posts: 47 PRO
There's a colab YouTube video between Onshape and Paramatters dated Dec 2019 ...

https://www.onshape.com/en/resource-center/articles/whats-is-generative-design

... in that video they mentioned that an Onshape integrated app would be coming soon.  It's been nearly 18 months and there doesn't appear to be anything in the Onshape app store.

Meanwhile Onshape has been sold to PTC who appear to have their own Generative Design solution.  Are there any integration plans with that?

Is there a roadmap for native generative design within Onshape?

Comments

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    wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member, csevp Posts: 510 PRO
    @andrew_kleinert
     As I understand it all collaboration with Parametters is dead. I use both neither seems to be moving in the direction of integration. I have heard rumors that there is some work being done within Onshape to offer generative at some point. 
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    andrew_kleinertandrew_kleinert Member Posts: 47 PRO
    S1mon said:
    Perhaps you could explain what you would use generative design for? My impression watching the CAD industry for many years is that generative design is an interesting academic/technical concept in search of real applications. The forms which result are never manufacturable unless you use a 3D printer, which is also not a high volume production technique. Yes, there are a few demonstration projects here and there, and a lot of CAD companies make a lot of noise about their generative design tools, but there are hardly any actual products using generative design tools.

    Most of my career has been working with clients from startups to Fortune 50 companies, taking products from concept into production. I've never heard of any client or ID partner suggesting we use generative design as part of the process.

    In this case it’s for a part that is conceptually a cylinder with inner and outer counter-rotating functional threads, made of a self lubricating / high wear bearing plastic.  (Igus provide materials and an SLS printing service for manufacturing parts with these particular properties).

    The interest in generative design is to get the SLS print cost down by only printing the material needed.  I know that sometimes there’s an interest in getting weight down (eg: aeronautical / automotive applications) but that’s not a design criteria here.

    This particular part is going into a high value / low volume product which can justify having an SLS printed part, but the potential benefit of cutting down the part price using generative design is worth exploring.

    There are a few ways of potentially making this part, but I thought I’d explore what options there are for generative design.

     


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    andrew_kleinertandrew_kleinert Member Posts: 47 PRO
    S1mon said:
    My impression watching the CAD industry for many years is that generative design is an interesting academic/technical concept in search of real applications. The forms which result are never manufacturable unless you use a 3D printer, which is also not a high volume production technique.
    .

    Wouldn’t that be about how the generative design is constrained?  For example, a design could be constrained to a single plane, and the output would be something that could be die cut?
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    S1mon said:
    Perhaps you could explain what you would use generative design for? My impression watching the CAD industry for many years is that generative design is an interesting academic/technical concept in search of real applications. The forms which result are never manufacturable unless you use a 3D printer, which is also not a high volume production technique. Yes, there are a few demonstration projects here and there, and a lot of CAD companies make a lot of noise about their generative design tools, but there are hardly any actual products using generative design tools.

    Most of my career has been working with clients from startups to Fortune 50 companies, taking products from concept into production. I've never heard of any client or ID partner suggesting we use generative design as part of the process.
    Using a lot of Generative Design at NASA using Fusion 360. Hope OnShape puts forth a good offering. Here is my ASME talk for reference. We've come a long way since then, especially with Generative Design for CNC. https://app.webinar.net/YJ1a6DYBMzl/on-demand
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    michael_zeaglermichael_zeagler Member Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    I wonder if this is in the pipeline now that there's linear static analysis natively within the platform. Onshape could bring some serious server horsepower to generative processes. I don't know much about fusion under the hood, but any optimization process benefits tremendously from parallelization, and I know they have a lot of cloud stuff going on. It's not my preferred cad package by any means, but it's one of the only accessible routes to play with generative design for fun prints.
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    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,633 PRO
    I believe they are working on "porting" the generative design tools from Creo to Onshape but not sure how long before we see something...
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    WP_MasterWP_Master Member Posts: 3 PRO
    This is one of the must have, because I see some competitors have really good AI generative design options available. I have been using Onshape about 5 years first it did surprise me as SAAS service what they really can be and do. But then it became standard how I can access and what I can do wherever I am and share a design or parts to a select audience etc... I see that AI generative design is must to have but more I think it's only matter of time when we see it in release.
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    If you are curious what Generative Design is capable of, check out these videos about NASA's usage.
    https://youtu.be/t_h_WmBhRXA?si=iFojD9FCgWaPSqDD
    https://youtu.be/x_Jt1jiQjhA?si=5yxqKRroxfU4-si0

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    ez_ra923ez_ra923 Member Posts: 2
    Curious if an Onshape developer can update the community on the status of any developments on this front. Cheers! 
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    michael_zeaglermichael_zeagler Member Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    I spoke with one of the engineers some time in the past few months. They're actually working on a lot of things on this front. I don't think any of it is the kind of thing they'd want to announce prematurely though. These dev ops kind of companies are always working on random stuff in the background. I'd love an update too though.

    Onshape is in a unique position to easily leverage data center level assets on a problem that's friendly to parallelization to a wide user base. I don't know what kind of assets they have to develop all these features though. It's a shame there's no big software development grants for this kind of thing.
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    nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member, csevp Posts: 742 PRO
    S1mon said:
    Perhaps you could explain what you would use generative design for? My impression watching the CAD industry for many years is that generative design is an interesting academic/technical concept in search of real applications. The forms which result are never manufacturable unless you use a 3D printer, which is also not a high volume production technique. Yes, there are a few demonstration projects here and there, and a lot of CAD companies make a lot of noise about their generative design tools, but there are hardly any actual products using generative design tools.

    Most of my career has been working with clients from startups to Fortune 50 companies, taking products from concept into production. I've never heard of any client or ID partner suggesting we use generative design as part of the process.
    I personally saw it used only once where I worked. We were using ProE (Creo), and a company had come to our office and made a presentation on generative design. The presentation was about one of the big tractor companies had come to them (John Deere or similar, I forget) and had a big molded gas tank. The lid of the tank would not screw on, because the weight of the gasoline would bow out the walls of the tank enough to make the opening for the lid no longer round. They had tried adding reinforcing ribs, but still couldn't get it to work. The inputs of the generative design were to keep the opening round, and the software came up with a reinforcing shape for the tank to accomplish that. Our company bought a license.

    The instance I recall us using it was for an injection molded part that was a cantilever that supported about 75 lbs. It had a 1" metal tube plugged into its bottom, and two 1/2" metal tube plugged into its side, 90 degrees from the bottom tube. The plastic part transferred the load between the tubes. We used the software to come up with the structure of the plastic part. What it came up with I recall was not that intuitive, and I don't think one of the engineers would have come up with it without the software. We ended up modeling the shape and made it into a product. It worked well.

    That was around 2008 I recall. I personally have not seen another case before or since. I think PTC ended up buying that company a couple years later, but I'm not certain. I don't remember the name of the software.

    Anyway, just making conversation:)
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    Frustum was the company. The Creo capabilities are improving, but Fusion 360 is the current state-of-the-art, despite being a more limited CAD tool.
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    Urs_Egger_REACTUrs_Egger_REACT Member Posts: 67 PRO
    S1mon said:
    Perhaps you could explain what you would use generative design for? My impression watching the CAD industry for many years is that generative design is an interesting academic/technical concept in search of real applications. The forms which result are never manufacturable unless you use a 3D printer, which is also not a high volume production technique. Yes, there are a few demonstration projects here and there, and a lot of CAD companies make a lot of noise about their generative design tools, but there are hardly any actual products using generative design tools.

    Most of my career has been working with clients from startups to Fortune 50 companies, taking products from concept into production. I've never heard of any client or ID partner suggesting we use generative design as part of the process.
    Well I would not say generative design is only for 3d printing. I could imagine it could be very useful also for mouldable parts. So e.g. the generative design helps to place ribs in the right dimension. I've seen generative solutions who also had a "deformable" feature. So the generative design prevented undercuts in the selected directions.
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    wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member, csevp Posts: 510 PRO
    I think generative design will have a place in the industry. However, I find it interesting to watch Autodesk refine its algorithm. It seems that with each iteration, the software spits out designs that look more and more like human designs.  
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    edited May 31
    I have been building and testing many Generatively Designed parts using Fusion 360 for NASA. They are primarily CNC machined.
    We can go very quickly from requirements to parts. 10x faster and structure performance is ~3x better.
     See: https://youtu.be/t_h_WmBhRXA?si=1nWZR1Ffi4qGfzP2
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    michael_zeaglermichael_zeagler Member Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    @Ryan_McClelland I've been following your project in the press! It's really cool to see someone working with the technology at it's limit here on the forum. 
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    nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member, csevp Posts: 742 PRO
    @Ryan_McClelland nice presentation, I watched the whole thing. Question, how did Fusion end up with the best generative design (I assume that's your opinion)? Fusion is Autodesk's low end product. I'm just curious.
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    I've benchmarked every tool I know of, and Fusion's is the best for our needs. It is the easiest to go directly from requirements to manufacturable parts, even for very complex design problems. They have just invested more into it. Otherwise, I don't use Fusion for general CAD. I often create the preserves and obstacles in OnShape before setting up the problem in Fusion (step import).
    Fusion has a robust algorithm, doesn't require a starting design, allows for remote mass representation, has CNC machining constraints, and robustly creates a BREP CAD model, not just a tessellated solid.
    I can't wait to see what OnShape comes up with!
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    @Ryan_McClelland nice presentation, I watched the whole thing. Question, how did Fusion end up with the best generative design (I assume that's your opinion)? Fusion is Autodesk's low end product. I'm just curious.
    Thanks! The CAE industry is experiencing rapid innovation these days. We now have a system to design structures such as those in my presentation with a text description only, input them to an algorithm, and output CAD and FEA analysis. We are using a low-code tool called Synera.
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    nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member, csevp Posts: 742 PRO
    Thanks @Ryan_McClelland . Do you have a vendor link for the CNC that was completely automated and lower cost, for designs that fit within certain vendor requirements? Or was that a special/exclusive relationship NASA has with a vendor.
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    Protolabs.com is the automated shop. For more complex parts we've had good luck with zerhourparts.com
    You can follow my LinkedIn for updates on our progress: (1) Ryan McClelland | LinkedIn
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    michael_zeaglermichael_zeagler Member Posts: 73 ✭✭✭
    Have you had any luck or tried constraints on a part for forgings?
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    Ryan_McClellandRyan_McClelland Member Posts: 32 PRO
    No, but casting constraints are there, I believe. I can also make 2D/flat designs.
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