Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Columbia University have developed a tool that makes it easier for designers to edit, improve, and improve CAD models using a more streamlined workflow.

‘From more ergonomic desks to higher-performance cars, this is really about creating better products in less time,’ says Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science PhD student and lead author Adriana Schulz. ‘We think this could be a real game changer for automakers and other companies that want to be able to test and improve complex designs in a matter of seconds to minutes, instead of hours to days.’

Traditional CAD systems are parametric, which means that when engineers design models, they can change properties like shape and size based on different priorities. For example, when designing a wind turbine you might have to make trade-offs between how much airflow you can get versus how much energy it will generate.

With InstantCAD, the process of improving and optimizing the design can be done in real-time. After an object is designed in a commercial CAD program, it is sent to a cloud platform where multiple geometric evaluations and simulations can be run at the same time.

The researchers suggest that InstantCAD could be particularly helpful for more intricate designs for objects such as cars, planes, and robots.

‘In a world where 3D printing and industrial robotics are making manufacturing more accessible, we need systems that make the actual design process more accessible, too,’ Schulz said.

This story is reprinted from material from MITwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.