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The focus of this ASSESS Initiative theme is to advocate for and enable a significant expansion of the breadth of capabilities of Generative Design and the use of Generative Design as an enabler of changing the design paradigm process through Engineering Simulation.

Generative design is the use of algorithmic methods to generate feasible designs or outcomes from a set of performance objectives, performance constraints, and design space for specified use cases.

Performance objectives and constraints may include factors from multiple areas including operational performance, weight/mass, manufacturing, assembly or construction, usability, aesthetics, ergonomics, and cost.   It is recommended that the specification of the use cases should incorporate uncertainties related to all inputs used to specify the intended use.

Generative Design represents the next big Technology Driver in the Engineering Simulation domain and most major Engineering Simulation vendors are actively pursuing some form of Generative Design strategy.  Most are starting with coupling Topology Optimization with Additive Manufacturing (hopefully with manufacturing constraints in the optimization and uncertainty included).  But this is just the beginning and the vision of Generative Design is not limited to a single form of optimization or a single form of manufacturing.

Generative Design is a fundamentally disruptive paradigm inversion. It proposes that designs can be computer generated by proper specification of rules and requirements. This overturns the current practice that designs must first be created so they can be evaluated against their performance requirements.  This means that simulation tools, developed for design evaluation, would become the driver for design creation; and CAD, once imagined as a design tool, then becomes a means to document the generated design.