New manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing have vastly improved the ability to create shapes and material properties previously thought impossible. Generating new designs that fully exploit these properties, however, has proven extremely challenging. Conventional design technologies, representations, and algorithms are inherently constrained by outdated presumptions about material properties and manufacturing methods. As a result, today’s design technologies are simply not able to bring to fruition the enormous level of physical detail and complexity made possible with cutting-edge manufacturing capabilities and materials.
DARPA’s Transformative Design (TRADES) program aims to advance the foundational mathematics and computational tools required to generate and better manage the enormous complexity of design. TRADES intends to develop engineering tools to address design representation, analysis, and synthesis. The final TRADES technologies should allow designers to more easily navigate the design space to discover non-intuitive yet realizable designs that fully leverage new materials and advanced manufacturing approaches, ultimately showing a way forward for future design systems and processes.
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