February 26, 2024

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Balancing AI and Humans for Effective Design in the U.S.

Researchers at MIT have discovered a means to create some of the best balances in modern manufacturing tools, such as 3D printers, by combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human manual design. AI can assist designers in creating structural materials in shapes that would be difficult or impossible to create with traditional methods.

However, such automated systems frequently fail to deliver designs fully optimised for their function, such as providing the greatest strength in proportion to weight or using the least amount of material to sustain a given load. In contrast, fully manual design is time-consuming and labour-intensive.

They used an automated design system but sometimes paused the process to allow human engineers to examine the work in progress and make changes or revisions before resuming the design process.

Introducing a few rounds resulted in outcomes that functioned better than those designed only by the automated method. The process was completed faster than the purely manual approach. The new generative design methods can use this flexibility to develop unique designs for components of a new building, car, or nearly any other item.

It’s a strategy for developing how to make things in much more complex ways than could be done in the past, Ha explains. Automated design systems have already become widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries, where reducing weight while maintaining structural strength is critical.

The researchers created a variety of structural load-bearing beams, such as those seen in a building or bridge, to demonstrate their approach in action. They identified an area in the design that could fail prematurely through iterations, so they chose that feature and forced the software to solve it. The computer system then altered the procedure to compensate, deleting the highlighted strut and strengthening specific other mounts, resulting in a better final design.

“You can take a lot of weight out of components, and weight drives everything in these two businesses,” he continued. In certain circumstances, such as internal components that are not visible, appearance is unimportant, while in others, aesthetics may be significant. The new method allows for the optimisation of designs for both visual and mechanical features, and human judgement is vital in such decisions.

The findings were published this week in the journal Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimisation in work co-authored by Dat Ha, an MIT PhD student, and Josephine Carstensen, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering.

According to Carstensen, the primary approach can be used for various scales and applications, including creating biomedical devices, nanoscale materials, and skyscraper structural support components. Automated design systems have already found numerous applications.

Not only can the technique be used to optimise a design for strength and weight, but it can also be used to optimise a design for any desired qualities. It can, for example, be utilised to reduce stresses in the material by softening corners or to minimise fracture or buckling.

“We’re not seeking to replace the seven-hour solution,” Carstensen explains. If you have all of the time and resources in the world, surely you can run these and get the optimal solution.” However, “then this kind of solution that addressed directly to your needs would prevail” in many instances, such as creating new components for equipment in a war zone or disaster-relief area with little computational power available.

Similarly, a simplified approach may be just what the doctor ordered for smaller organisations manufacturing equipment in essentially “mom and pop” shops. According to Carstensen, the new method they devised is simple and efficient to run on smaller systems and requires significantly less training to yield valuable results. Moreover, a rudimentary two-dimensional version of the software, sufficient for designing primary beams and structural sections, is now freely available online while the team works on a full 3D version.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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