DARPA Chooses PARC, Siemens, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Michigan State University to Develop Modeling Tools to Transform State-of-the-Art Manufacturing

Press Release

Palo Alto, California — PARC, a Xerox company, today announced it has been chosen as part of a team of organizations — including Siemens, Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), and Michigan State University (MSU) — by the DARPA TRAansformative DESign (TRADES) program. The goal of the multimillion dollar project is to develop a new digital modeling technology that will expand existing computer-aided design (CAD) software to design incredibly complex objects with superior functional properties that can still be manufactured with current manufacturing processes.

“This project will have significant impact for high-performance products in specialized industries such as aerospace, defense, automotive, energy production, manufacturing tooling, medical devices and consumer products,” said Dr. Suraj Musuvathy, Senior Scientist, Siemens Corporate Technology. “Our team provides a one-of-a-kind combination of skills. Siemens’ and GT’s experience in CAD systems provide unique insight into how typical users think about and react to different methodologies. Michigan State University provides a strong background in multidisciplinary optimization.  Siemens and PARC are long-time experts in, and users of, additive manufacturing and composite technologies, providing the team access to engineers and material scientists with extensive experience in commercial applications.”

Unlike many CAD systems, Siemens’ NX™ software includes highly advanced features for the design of heterogeneous materials, composites and lattice structures, as well as preparation for additive manufacturing. Through the DARPA TRADES project, this team aims to further expand those capabilities to create a new approach for designing models with billions of geometric attributes and manufacturing these highly complex objects.

“Our work will enhance the ability to create, optimize, and fabricate these extremely complex designs by providing engineers access to tools that define the designs in terms of simple programs which then automatically encode fabrication requirements and constraints to ensure optimized, manufacturable designs,” said Saigopal Nelaturi, PARC researcher and lead on this project. “Using the new techniques we are developing with Siemens, GT and MSU, many products could be engineered to be more durable and lighter, while also providing far better performance. This includes rotating, turbo machinery in jet engines, gas turbines, electric motors, and generators, where a lot of engineering goes into controlling the parts as they rotate faster and come under load.”

The project will create fundamental technologies that will facilitate rapid “design-to-manufacturing,” with the following innovations:

–        A design model as a sequence of program code that can handle a 10 million times increase in complexity compared to state-of-the-art systems;

–        Automated manufacturability analysis for structures ranging from microns to meters using local evaluation of design and manufacturing queries; and

–        Ability to efficiently explore the massive design space offered by layered manufacturing, composites, and architected materials.

PARC’s digital manufacturing portfolio of technologies helps bring real-world manufacturing constraints into the product design cycle by identifying manufacturing constraints of a supply chain early in the design phase, ultimately minimizing time-to-market and improving overall product quality.

About PARC

PARC, a Xerox company is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the research that enables breakthroughs for our clients’ businesses.

Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. This project was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Note: Siemens and the Siemens logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens AG. NX is a trademark or registered trademark of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.

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