What is Generative Design?

Generative design is a form of artificial intelligence that harnesses the power of cloud and machine learning, accelerating the entire manufacturing design-to-make process. Fusion 360’s generative design features identify manufacturing-ready outcomes early in the production process, giving you the ability to optimise for cost, material and manufacturing techniques from the start of a project.

Generative design has become a buzzword in manufacturing and is often perceived as being suitable only for additively manufactured components. Autodesk’s implementation of generative design in Fusion 360 learns the various methods of manufacture available to you and creates geometry appropriate to those methods. This includes subtractive and other manufacturing methods.

Multiple design and manufacturing challenges can be solved quickly and simultaneously with generative design in Fusion 360. Rich categorisation filters and comparison tools allow you to quickly identify the best overall solution for the design in question. Generated geometry is extracted as either a polyface mesh, or a high-fidelity T-spline freeform body. Which can then be easily post-processed in Fusion 360 for aesthetic improvements, or manufacturing optimisation.

The Fusion 360 interface provides user-friendly tools for the generative design process, which are simple and easy to learn. The ‘Manufacture’ workspace inside Fusion 360 allows the user to prepare generated geometry for additive or subtractive manufacturing and contains tools for 3D printing, CAM, CNC machining and more.

Watch our specialist Gavin Bath demonstrate generative design in Fusion 360 with his design for an electric longboard truck:

See the longboard truck design come to life on a 5 axis CNC machine in this video by NYC CNC:


The benefits of incorporating generative design into your manufacturing process:

Light weighting:
Quickly identify the solution to minimise mass and material use while maintaining performance standards, meeting design goals, and respecting engineering constraints.



Performance Impact:
Evaluate multiple manufacturing methods using generative design and discover solutions to improve and optimise product durability and eliminate areas of weakness



Parts Consolidation:
Explore a range of design solutions that allow you to consolidate multiple components into solid parts, reducing assembly costs and simplifying your supply chain.



Meet your sustainability goals by using generative design to lightweight your products, creating less production waste and helping you select more sustainable materials.



Generative design webinar:

To learn more about generative design in Fusion 360 and how it can benefit your manufacturing business, join Gavin Bath on our webinar on-demand:


Generative design starter kit:

Download the free starter kit to access helpful generative design resources: 




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