Ideas & Vision

Can Generative Design Propel Sustainability in the Manufacturing Industry?

As hurricanes, wildfires, and other climate-related disasters make headlines around the planet following the hottest decade on record, public concern about global warming is rising. With the UN warning that we have until only 2030 to avert a climate catastrophe, consumers increasingly vote with their wallets when it comes to environmental concerns, providing a strong incentive for manufacturers to go green.

Technology can help. Generative design particularly holds the potential to accelerate sustainability gains in the manufacturing industry in the coming years.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://redshift.autodesk.com/sustainability-in-manufacturing-industry/.

Photo Credit: Generative design has proven useful for lightweighting. What other sustainability benefits can it bring?

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Fix Those Pipes! Water Infrastructure Is Key to a Fast-Flowing Industrial Economy

The hubs of American manufacturing—from shop floors and assembly lines to high-tech labs and chemical facilities—are connected by webs of rail, roads, and electrical power. In the popular imagination, the creation of physical goods requires strength and heft, a bit of blue-collar can-do attitude, and innovative technological solutions.

What’s rarely discussed, but equally important, is this sector’s need for water and how the nation’s aging network of pipes, treatment facilities, and wastewater plants provides a crucial component of the industrial economy.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://redshift.autodesk.com/water-infrastructure/.

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Prefab Construction’s Benefits Grow With Design for Manufacture and Assembly

A growing movement in the construction industry—called design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA)—takes traditional design and grafts two important goals onto it: that the products will be easy to manufacture and that those manufactured products will be easy to assemble into a larger construction.

Not coincidentally, the construction industry stands to benefit greatly from an uptick in DfMA, whose principles contribute to making construction projects faster to complete, safer for workers, and environmentally friendlier.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/design-for-manufacture-and-assembly/.

Photo Credit: H.T. Lyons manufactured this 23-by-72-foot, more than 55-ton utility “super skid” at its Allentown, PA., prefab shop. Courtesy of H.T. Lyons.

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Ready to Reduce Your Construction Emissions? Use the Embodied Carbon Calculator

It’s no secret that the construction industry is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse-gas emissions. The numbers are staggering: Embodied carbon currently makes up 11% or more of global emissions; by comparison, that’s more than five times higher than the 2% of global emissions produced by the entire aviation industry.

With a projected 2.5 trillion square feet of new buildings being constructed around the world by 2060—equal to adding a New York City to the planet every 34 days for the next four decades—emissions associated with embodied carbon will skyrocket if left unchecked.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/embodied-carbon-calculator/.

Photo Credit: With new construction projected to top 2.5 trillion square feet by 2060, it’s critical to address the environmental impact of building materials now.

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Distributed Manufacturing Gives Small Businesses a Shot at the Big Time

Automated manufacturing: It’s a term that conjures gigantic factories churning out thousands of identical products, often owned by multinational conglomerates for whom agility is a major (and expensive) undertaking.

But what about small businesses? They can pivot quickly in response to markets, but how can they access the economic efficiency that automation offers? Enter distributed manufacturing, in which the materials and fabrication are decentralized, making the processes more accessible, customizable, and affordable.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/distributed-manufacturing/.

Photo Credit: Betsy and Mike Jasper of Tarkka have the mission to democratize digital fabrication for everyone, from small-manufacturing professionals to students and hobbyists. Courtesy of Gabriel Joffe.

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Curves and CO2 Reduction Coexist in Chicago’s Colossal Concrete Installation

Musing on the spiritual and formal predilections of the building materials he used so masterfully, architect Louis Kahn once famously said: “You say to brick, ‘What do you want, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’ And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel.’”

The Stereoform Slab pavilion, designed and fabricated for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, is a meditation on the ideal forms of a different material: concrete. The spirit of the installation directly addresses Kahn’s concession to material efficacy, combining arches with sculpted concrete while also demonstrating a more sustainable approach to using the material.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/concrete-co2/.

Photo Credit: The Stereoform Slab illustrates the potential for sustainable concrete-sculpting methods. Courtesy of Dave Burk/SOM.

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Manufacturing “Living Metals” With Cold-Spray Technology Is Rocket Science

The promise of metal additive manufacturing hasn’t quite matched its initial hype. Costs are still high, and the tech remains best suited to fabricating low-volume, high-complexity parts. In short, it hasn’t been the anticipated boon to industrial manufacturing yet—so using a rocket engine to spray and bond metal particles onto existing machine parts might seem a little like overkill.

A Bay Area trio with a unique start-up idea may be changing all that. Co-founder engineers Deepak Atyam, Alex Finch, and Jesse Lang of Tri-D Dynamics have developed what they call “cold metal fusion,” which combines powder-based metallurgy with rocket science—and perhaps will open an untapped market in the process.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/cold-spray-technology/.

Photo Credit: The Tri-D Dynamics TerraForma machine uses a small rocket engine and heated nitrogen to project metal powder at supersonic speeds. Courtesy of Tri-D Dynamics.

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99% Invisible Podcast: Why Sand Scarcity Threatens the Building Industry

If you’re a fan of the popular 99% Invisible podcast and the kinds of stories published on Redshift, then you’re in the right place. Autodesk and Redshift partnered with 99% Invisible host Roman Mars and his crew for six podcasts tied to the show’s mission of uncovering the fascinating—yet inconspicuous—ways that architecture and design shape the planet.

In this second episode in the partnership series, Mars explores sand scarcity in construction. The notion that the planet is running out of sand might come as a shock. After all, it’s the most abundant resource next to water and air. But it’s also a major ingredient in concrete, asphalt, and glass, and since reinforced concrete became a building material of choice in the 20th century, the demand for sand has increased exponentially.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/sand-scarcity/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of National Park Service (NPS.gov)

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Could a Synthetic Brain Make Manufacturing Automation Accessible for All?

Imagine a future in which anyone with a dream can easily turn it into a physical product. In that future, all you need to make the dream real is to communicate what you want through words. You don’t need an engineering degree or a background in industrial design or manufacturing, just an idea.

This can (and will) happen, but first, some things need to change—starting with access to manufacturing automation.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/synthetic-brain/.

Photo Credit: Image composite: Micke Tong

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C40’s Women4Climate Sheds Feminine Light on Major Cities’ Climate Strategies

Modern cities are built atop the designs of decades—or even centuries—past, long before the current dilemmas of rapid population growth, chronic traffic congestion, and climate change had ever been considered. Most city planning is also absent the universal design principles that take into greater account the needs of women, ethnic minorities, and elderly or disabled citizenry.

Take, for example, Houston, a city that experienced devastating flooding when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. Much of the city’s infrastructure predated modern capabilities, and the result was a stark reminder that most cities aren’t prepared to face the severe weather events happening more frequently with climate change. That was especially true for Houston’s most vulnerable communities, which disproportionately faced higher flood risk.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/c40-cities/.

Photo Credit: The C40 coalition shares knowledge, technology, and other innovations among 96 major global cities, such as Vancouver, Canada, to promote measurable action on climate change.

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