John Briscella from Aminimal Studio was part of the Artist in Residence program at Autodesk's Pier 9 in San Francisco. During his residency he worked with the Dreamcatcher team to apply generative design to the creation of an olympic recurve bow.
John asked some interesting questions in exploring this project:
Can design be automated? What does that mean for the role of designer?
And then he found an answers to his question in the designer letting go and letting the software do what it does best. Going on to say:
It's going to be an amazing dialog between humans and machines - figuring out the best possible solution for a design
John started of with sketching his project and and goals for the design.
He scanned his arm and hand with reality capture to define one of the goals so that there would be a custom fit. Other parts defined below include a space for the arrow and the upper and lower limbs and the bolt holes to mount them.
With this set, Dreamcatcher can begin the simulation. At each step, the bow is tested for strength.
Final the digital part is sent to the CNC milling machine. John says:
This is like watching the evolution of bone structures or plant structures
The completed part gets removed from the machine.
You can learn more about how John did this on Instructables and through the video below.