Computational design, advanced visualisation, and the changing nature of CAD

Urquhart, Lewis William Robert and Petrakis, Konstantinos and Wodehouse, Andrew (2022) Computational design, advanced visualisation, and the changing nature of CAD. In: 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 2022-09-08 - 2022-09-09, London South Bank University.

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Computational design and advanced visualization are two key avenues of development that are changing the landscape of CAD for engineering designers and much of the work in computational design has been pioneered and applied most enthusiastically in the field of architecture. Known informally as the ‘computational turn’ that started to make a significant impact around the early 2010s, the associated modelling methods can significantly affect the methodology for the construction of CAD geometry and the nature of forms that are achievable. When combined with VR and AR interfaces, these allow potential designs to be explored in 3D and in real time to further affect the design process. To this end, relevant literature and emerging trends will be set out. A case study will then be presented based on the PRIME-V2 research project, which is concerned with the delivery of bespoke VR controllers to allow users to perform physical rehabilitation. The main insights derived in terms of the design process, capturing user requirements, generation of bespoke data, prototyping and testing, and technical limitations will be highlighted. The implications for the delivery of CAD teaching for postgraduate engineering designers will then be considered. This will be via the experience in redesigning a module at the University of Strathclyde. Titled ‘Product Modelling and Visualisation’, the module has sought to move beyond basic feature creation skills towards an understanding of where and how advanced computational techniques can be deployed in the design process at large.