Autodesk Within: Generative Design Optimized for 3D Printing

Categories: Sustainability in PD&M

Today Autodesk announced the availability of Autodesk Within, a set of generative design software solutions to help engineers create and 3D print lightweight designs for the automotive, aerospace, industrial equipment and medical implant industries.

Autodesk Within is built around a powerful optimization engine that takes input parameters – such as desired weight requirements, maximum stress and displacement – then generates designs with variable-density lattice structures and surface skins to meet exact specifications. The resulting components are higher performing and can be considerably lighter weight than traditional designs. They are as stiff or as flexible as needed, and are refined to enable faultless additive manufacturing.

 Autodesk Within case study demonstrating a lightweight load-bearing engine block

Complementing the software, Autodesk Within Consulting provides consulting services to help companies across diverse industries quickly adopt and realize value from Within technology. Autodesk can consult on specific projects and on how best to use Within features to reach design goals.

“In industries such as automotive and aerospace, it’s critically important to continue innovating in how parts are designed and manufactured. Generative design, advances in material science, and new fabrication techniques are allowing engineers to deliver components that were never before possible,” said Mark Davis, Autodesk’s senior director of design research. “Autodesk Within enables designers to create high-performing parts while enforcing design rules and adhering to additive manufacturing constraints.”

Generative design is central to the future of making things. It is a process by which the infinite computing power of the cloud determines design alternatives based on parameters such as weight or strength set by a designer. This approach leads to optimization of cost, materials and fabrication techniques early on in the process – not after a design has been handed off for manufacturing, when changes are exponentially more expensive. Generative design can increase design quality, efficiency and performance across the board.


 Autodesk Within case study demonstrating a strong, lightweight, aerodynamic roll hoop

In addition to the Within software, Autodesk is pursuing other generative design initiatives including Project Dreamcatcher. Over time, generative design features will be incorporated into more of the Autodesk product design software portfolio. 

Autodesk Within is based on technology from the 2014 acquisition of London-based Within Labs.

To learn more, visit the Autodesk Within product center.