May 15, 2018 | By Thomas

General Motors is using generative design software, 3D printing, AI and cloud computing to introduce the next generation of vehicle lightweighting. General Motors has described "the technologies are key to developing efficient and lighter alternative propulsion and zero emission vehicles."

Using cloud computing and AI-based algorithms, multiple permutations of a part design can be explored. The new generative design software from Autodesk generates hundreds of high-performance, often organic-looking geometric design options based on goals and parameters set by the user, such as weight, strength, material choice, fabrication method, and more. The user then determines the best part design option.

The new technology helps to both reduce vehicle mass and consolidate components. GM and Autodesk engineers have applied this new technology to produce a proof-of-concept part – a 3D printed seat bracket – that is 40 percent lighter and 20 percent stronger than the original part. It also consolidates eight different components into one 3D-printed part.

“This disruptive technology provides tremendous advancements in how we can design and develop components for our future vehicles to make them lighter and more efficient, said GM Vice President Ken Kelzer, Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems. For more than three decades, GM has used 3D printing to create three-dimensional parts directly from digital data through successive addition of layers of material. “When we pair the design technology with manufacturing advancements such as 3D printing, our approach to vehicle development is completely transformed and is fundamentally different to co-create with the computer in ways we simply couldn’t have imagined before.” The company has more than 50 3D printers that have produced more than 250,000 prototype parts over the last decade.

As part of a multi-year alliance focused on innovation, GM and Autodesk will collaborate on projects involving generative design, additive manufacturing, and materials science.

“Generative design is the future of manufacturing, and GM is a pioneer in using it to lightweight their future vehicles,” said Scott Reese, Autodesk Senior Vice President for Manufacturing and Construction Products. “Generative technologies fundamentally change how engineering work is done because the manufacturing process is built into design options from the start. GM engineers will be able to explore hundreds of ready-to-be-manufactured, high-performance design options faster than they were able to validate a single design the old way.”

Since 2016, GM has launched 14 new vehicle models with a total mass reduction of more than 5,000 lbs., or more than 350 pounds per vehicle. Of those models, more than half of the vehicles shed 300-pounds or more including the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, which reduced mass by up to 450-pounds.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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