According to Autodesk, French brand Decathlon, which produces more than 4,000 sports and leisure products every year, showcased a design for a bicycle with an aluminum frame that can be 3D printed for individual users.

How Is that Possible?

Autodesk Fusion 360's generative design opportunities helped Decathlon to design, manufacture, and deliver prototype components that combine high quality and sustainability. Besides, the French company expects to reduce the resources. To do this, Decathlon plans to move to 3D printing from aluminum and eliminate the use of carbon fiber, a hard-to-recycle but popular material that is ubiquitous in lightweight, durable and high-quality racing bikes.

Decathlon, the world's most popular sporting goods retailer, maintains its reputation in the marketplace without compromising the brand's responsibility for sustainability, contemporary design, and product affordability. The company is developing the traditional method of product design and entering a new mode of operation, taking into account the principle of a more respectful attitude to nature.

For the most part, sustainability is what drives Decathlon to innovate. The company plans to avoid using the carbon footprint of the billions of sports equipment produced each year. In order to achieve this goal, Decathlon is rethinking its product design approach with leading-edge technology at the center of the entire process.

A form of artificial intelligence that provides design engineers with multiple potential solutions to design problems in seconds is a key mechanism. Fusion 360 software is responsible for this technology and machine learning and computational geometry algorithms can cope with any task. As a result, multiple solutions that meet the exact requirements are being proposed to a specialist.

In this case, the design of the bike frame and fork was accomplished by means of generative design. The design took into account the significant dynamic forces that the fork will be subjected to at high speeds and during braking, aerodynamics, and many other factors. The fork is an essential part of the bike's design - the front wheel is attached to it and allows you to change the direction of the bike. The fork consists of several parts, and each of them must withstand significant loads. Decathlon predicts that rethinking the traditional design process can significantly reduce bike weight by using fewer materials.

"At first, our collaboration was technical because we did not fully understand the features of generative design and its potential," said Charles Cambianica of Decathlon's New Development Department. "Thanks to the project, we realized that this technology is not an additional tool, but a truly new way of designing and developing our products. Autodesk invites us to look at new possibilities when creating projects of the future. The generative design will allow us to go even further: it saves time, makes products better, and, most importantly, allows people to stay at the center of the creative process. "

Changing business processes to stay in line with the modern world is, in most cases, very difficult. As a rule, this takes time and, of course, a clear vision - to build it, you need to rethink the possibilities. Then, realizing that vision requires a transformation of the company's culture, priorities, and infrastructure. However, these changes - especially if they are done with an experienced partner who has gone through such a process - can pay off far beyond the investment, and Decathlon is a prime example of this.

Generative Design: What Is It and Where Is It Used?

Generative design is a modern technology used for design. The technology is based on the use of software that is capable of independently, without human assistance, to create models that meet all the specified indicators. We can say that all creative manipulations are transferred to the computer, and the computer copes with this perfectly.

This innovation is already starting to be used as the main tool for creating projects. The very rapid development of 3D printing and capacities contributes to the rapid adoption of generative design, as technologies fully complement each other. It is a very popular request at any engineering marketplace.

To date, the price of 3D printers and printing has dropped to levels that make it possible to think about the widespread production of products with their help. This is why generative design blends so well with 3D.

The software is provided with increased power and can be applied in many areas. Such technologies allow obtaining high level and quality results in a short time.

Generative design has proven itself to be widely used in a wide variety of fields. For instance:

●      Mechanical engineering.

●      Architecture and Construction.

●      Production.

●      FMCG.

Complex details can be greatly simplified. This increases overall efficiency.

Generative design, using artificial intelligence algorithms, became available in the cloud-based tool Autodesk Fusion 360. This technology is used to automatically design various products and optimize their properties. The use of the technology will help to improve the characteristics of products, reduce the negative impact on the environment, reduce the cost of assembly and increase the strength of products (by replacing an assembly of several parts with one). Today, generative design technology is already being used by companies such as Airbus, Stanley Black & Decker, and Lightning Motorcycles.

The generative design allows you to preset product requirements such as material, size, weight, strength, manufacturing methods, and cost constraints. It's like attracting engineering talents to cope with any task. Then, using algorithms based on artificial intelligence and cloud computing, it generates many design options that meet the specified criteria. Based on this, engineers can select the options that best meet the specified requirements. Generative design not only offers what was originally "unthinkable" design options but it also "arms" designers with the data they need to make informed decisions that meet their needs.

Generative design technology is available to all Fusion 360 Ultimate subscribers. Fusion 360 Ultimate users will have a generate button on the toolbar that can be clicked on to the Autodesk Generative Design download page.