Engineers from the company Autodesk has used advanced AI tools to the collaboration with the jet propulsion Laboratory to rethink what should be the spacecraft of the future. The innovative design of the lander, resembling a cross between a spider crab, shown on the latest Autodesk conference in Las Vegas. It is a lightweight, openwork design that can even sit on an unstable surface in difficult climatic conditions of other worlds.
The lander needs to be as light as possible while maintaining strength, but NASA said bluntly: we do not mind titanium and carbon fiber, however weight reduction by 10% will do nothing. Before Autodesk has set the task to reach the target of minus 20-30 % of the weight, what the developers have used the technology of generative design. For this purpose a special AI generated hundreds of versions of the same parts and components, and engineers have collected one with a virtual model and tested in a wide range of options, constantly adjusting the conditions of the problem for AI. True creative work!
In parallel, AI solved the problem of selection of materials for the individual elements, as well as choosing the best way to handle them. So the lander body frame is cast from aluminum alloy, the details of the pillars carved by the mill, but the container with the external devices is printed on a 3D printer. Autodesk was able to reduce structural weight up to 80 kg, while it carries 115 kg of payload. Compare with the standard design of the old Martian lander, which itself weighs more than 350 kg.
Interesting fact: although Autodesk and used a specialized AI, but he worked to full capacity in just one month. And then, almost a year and a half in a row, the concept is painstakingly brought to perfection by hand. This is the main feature of generative design in the performance of the AI it can in a short time to offer multiple options of solving the problem, but you need to carefully choose the best one, because the concept of the right path is just not there. This concept can form the basis of a new engineering culture of the future.
Source — Autodesk