For a while I’ve been interested in the idea of generative design – where 3D CAD files can automatically generate endless forms in response to certain inputs from the user, or through algorithms or random events. Today I’ve started playing with a free piece of software called Genoform which plugs into Solidworks, along with Rhino or Inventor. You can see how powerful it is from the images above; the top left form is my original creation in Solidworks, and the other 25 are the outcome of a few seconds of processing by Genoform. Talk about concept generation in the blink of an eye!
This is the first time I’ve seen something like this that works with Solidworks, and it looks as if you can get right into the detailed settings to control certain dimensions, and only allow a set few to change between iterations. Very powerful, and quite exciting in terms of the future of CAD software. Certainly reminds me of the great work being done by nervous system and their online tools for customising 3D printable designs. If you haven’t seen their work, I highly recommend checking it out and even downloading some of their designs from Thingiverse to 3D print yourself.
– Posted by James Novak