Although topology optimization has been around for decades, advancements in generative design make it an indispensable tool for engineers. And the combination of generative design plus cloud computing promises to be the way of the future.
Creo Generative Topology Optimization (GTO) and the Generative Design Extension (GDX) are two industry-leading tools that can revolutionize your product development.
Generative techniques bring a bundle of benefits, but you must use the right tool to realize them. Creo GTO and GDX are similar, but not synonymous; here’s a quick primer on what they are and when to use their strengths to your advantage.
Generative topology optimization is a great way to build a design that carries no excess material, without sacrificing strength, ultimately creating a lighter, less expensive part and a more efficient manufacturing process. But GTO in Creo does more than just contouring an existing design.
Once you have the basic optimization set up in Creo, you can select the material and manufacturing process, and GTO will optimize the part design for that combination.
Because this all happens within Creo, there are no import/export hassles, and nothing is lost in translation.
Note that the output from GTO doesn’t have to be your final design. You can also take that output, modify it, and analyze it using tools such as Creo Simulation Live.
Video: Creo Generative Topology Optimization demonstrated.
The Generative Design Extension takes all the benefits of GTO and extends them with cloud-powered computing.
To use GDX, you first set up the basic optimization in GTO. However, unlike GTO, you can add multiple design criteria, and multiple materials for each design. This collection, or study, is sent to GDX. That’s where the magic begins.
Instead of the single design you get from generative topology optimization, GDX harnesses the power of the cloud to generate multiple designs simultaneously. It will even automatically identify the top options for your review. You can quickly investigate the many design scenarios and discover innovative geometry solutions that you and your team may not have found using traditional methods.
Designs produced in GDX can be brought back to Creo for further refinement and analysis.
GDX extends the abilities of GTO to further save on time and material costs, reduce waste, and ultimately produce higher performing designs.
Video: Creo Generative Design extension explained.
Clearly, GTO and GDX have their differences, depending on what you need for a project. Think of GTO as the right solution when you want to optimize a model for a specific material and manufacturing design process. Bring in GDX when you want to quickly develop and compare many scenarios in parallel, for more innovative solutions to your critical design challenges.
Mike Gayette is a marketing professional and freelance writer based in North Dakota. He writes about engineering software, marketing technology, customer service, and team building. He also spends time at the local humane society as a dog walker and cat entertainer.