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Concurrent Engineering Blog

How will you use AI in your engineering projects?

Posted by Concurrent Engineering on 08-Mar-2023 08:45:00

AI can open new doors in the design process, but you need to know the right questions to ask it. Let’s find out more.




As an engineer, your job is to solve problems. But when artificial intelligence (AI) has the answer to every question you could possibly want to know, where does it leave you? Quite simply, AI gives you your time back so you can focus on small parts of the design that improve the system as a whole. The key to achieving these marginal gains lies in the questions you ask it.


In this article, we’ll look a little deeper at how AI can work for you as an engineer, including an example from Volvo.


Generative design


Generative design is a 3D CAD function that optimises designs using AI. Engineers provide the design requirements, goals, materials and processes. Then, the AI does the rest, delivering a design that’s ready to go. 


For engineers, this is obviously a huge time saver. However, it does change the nature of your role slightly. Now, your value is in your understanding of the purpose of the system and each component within it, so you can request the right results from your generative design application. With this high level of system knowledge, you can make the right trade-offs when multiple (or no) correct answers exist.


The Volvo SuperTruck II 


Sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Volvo is designing the new SuperTruck II powertrain, which will deliver increased freight capacity with lower carbon emissions. During the design process for the front engine mount, one Volvo designer went deep into generative design to create something in minutes that might have otherwise taken years. 


Aiming to keep weight above the front axle to a minimum, the designer employed generative design to redesign the front engine mount to create something lighter in weight, but still with the correct structural integrity. But he didn’t stop there.


Hypothesising that the bolt structure of the engine block would put too much stress on the engine mount over time, he used generative design to develop a new bolt configuration that would be more structurally sound. It would distribute the load in a much-improved way. 


The designer was able to do this because he reframed the problem, asking the right questions of his generative design solution.


Confidence to move forward


It worked for Volvo, and it could work for you too. Generative design with AI gives you the time:

  • Experiment
  • Improve processes 
  • Reach better outcomes faster
  • Enable continuous improvement


By taking existing designs and optimising them with the help of AI, you can be more creative and have more confidence in your hypotheses. Whether you’re designing new components or looking to improve what you already have, generative design can help you find that edge.


Find out more with Creo


Creo is the generative design solution of choice for engineers. By incorporating new AI-driven features in an application you already know and love, Creo makes it easy to bring generative design into your everyday design processes, with no switching required. 


Find out more