Most products we use daily are developed using computer-aided design (CAD) software. However, the process of designing those products is very time-consuming, especially when you are trying to improve an existing design by making constant changes until you reach the most optimal result; as changing a single property means having to wait for the whole model to be regenerated.
Researchers from MIT and Columbia University have developed InstantCAD, a new plugin that integrates seamlessly with existing CAD programs and lets designers edit and optimize their models in real-time, saving them days or even weeks. This is achieved by using a custom algorithm that provides instant feedback on how to improve an item's design by using pre-computed data from a cloud platform.
Adriana Schulz, the project’s lead researcher, stated about the new tool:
“From more ergonomic desks to higher-performance cars, this is really about creating better products in less time. We think this could be a real game changer for automakers and other companies that want to be able to test and improve complex designs in a matter of seconds.”
InstantCad is part of a paper (PDF) that its creators will present at the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference in Los Angeles later this month. Because of the system's huge productivity boost, Schulz believes that it will have immediate applications in all industries where CAD software is used.