Designing the first bus through generative design and digital fabrication

Lúcid has started the year with many new challenges on the table. One of them is the start of a new project in which generative design and digital fabrication will be the protagonists.

The project, made possible thanks to the support of CDTI, is worth 1.1 million euros and will be developed in partnership with a well-known company in the automotive sector.

The main objective of the project is to change the construction system of the bus chassis from welded iron sections to carbon fibre tubes incorporating 3D printing nodes.

This will make it possible to rethink both the manufacturing process and the bus construction system itself in order to optimise the structural weight, costs and manufacturing time. All of this will be developed over a period of between 12 and 18 months, divided into 8 development phases, which will enable all the objectives set to be achieved.

The process will be developed for a well-known company in the automotive sector and will incorporate different specialised partners , including a renowned international printing firm.  

But what is generative design and what opportunities does it offer?

Generative design allows the creation of 3D parts through the use of computer software that offers multiple design options, each with specifications, allowing the option that best suits the customer's requirements and aspirations to be achieved.

Thanks to generative design, designers and engineers can explore different design options in terms of weight, material usage and manufacturing process. This is a role reversal for engineers who can focus on the requirements of the design rather than on how the design will be developed.

Digital fabrication, a necessary next step for maximum optimisation of the design process

In this project, Lúcid will complement the generative design part with manufacturing, also digital. Digital manufacturing, better known by the term 'digital manufacturing', is based on the use of technology to also optimise the manufacturing process.

The integration of all the equipment that contributes to the manufacturing process will allow greater control of everything that happens in the manufacturing process, reducing unforeseen events and manufacturing time and improving productivity.

Generative design: a world of benefits for the design world

There are many advantages to be gained from the implementation of generative design.  

The freedom of design and the possibility to create products from scratch allows designers to explore new and truly innovative lines of design.

On the other hand, this technology contributes to the reduction of production costs because it always works on the optimisation of materials, structure and processes, achieving a reduction of up to 50% of these costs.

As far assustainability is concerned, generative design contributes both to the use of sustainable materials and to the reduction of product weight, achieving truly light and innovative designs with regard to the use of materials.

Generative design and digital manufacturing still have a very long way to go for today's businesses. There are many potential applications in all sectors in terms of product design and manufacturing.

This is the first commercial chair made with generative design. Philippe Starck collaborated with an algorithm to design the chair, which will be on sale soon.
Autodesk collaborates with Volkswagen Group on the generative design of electric display vehicles. A generative design was applied to the wheels to achieve a weight saving of 18%. Credit: Volkswagen.
Generative design helped Under Armour produce its first 3D printed training shoe.

And you, would you like to know how to take advantage of this technology in your products or sector?Contact us at without obligation and we will explore all the possibilities together!

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