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AI Will Be a Top Skill Required in Design and Manufacturing, Suggests Report

The AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) sectors’ rapid digitization has called for workforce upskilling. Professionals now need to grasp BIM, automation, and more to efficiently drive project outcomes. But one skill shines above all, especially in design and manufacturing: the ability to work with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As stated in Autodesk’s 2024 State of Design & Make report, industry leaders think the ability to work with or implement AI is the most crucial design and manufacturing skill for the future. From streamlining operations through generative design to optimizing maintenance with predictive analytics, AI has the potential to reshape how businesses operate.

AI in Design and Manufacturing

What is design and manufacturing? It’s the process of conceptualizing, designing, and manufacturing a tangible product. Throughout this process, collaboration, iteration, and optimization are key to ensuring that the final product meets specifications, standards, and customer needs.

Currently, we have CAD tools for the designing part, but when it comes to streamlining the manufacturing process, integrating AI technologies can significantly enhance efficiency and precision. 

AI-driven generative design tools are enabling professionals to explore a vast array of design possibilities with speed and precision. By inputting parameters such as material constraints and performance criteria, they can generate design solutions that are both aesthetically stunning and structurally sound.

Furthermore, AI can help the D&M sector through predictive analytics. By analyzing vast amounts of data in real time, AI algorithms can identify potential equipment failures before they occur, allowing for proactive maintenance interventions that minimize downtime and maximize productivity. This predictive maintenance approach not only reduces operational costs but also prolongs the lifespan of machinery.

Growing Generative AI Market

According to a report by MarkNtel Advisors, the generative AI market is projected to with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.4% between 2023 and 2028. This growth trajectory indicates a significant shift towards automation, optimization, and innovation in design and manufacturing processes.

Generative AI is already making waves in architecture. Buildings like the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku, the Autodesk Technology Centre in Toronto, and the Living Pavilion in Melbourne showcase how AI-driven design brings innovation to architecture.

Furthermore, Toyota leveraged Fusion 360’s cloud-based design tool which has generative design capabilities to create next-generation seat frames. These frames prioritized safety and comfort and were thinner and more sustainable compared to the current frames.

Lastly, it’s found that the technology is enhancing workplace productivity – in terms of data analysis, collaboration, writing content, and personalized learning reports. All of this points to the fact that going forward, generative AI is going to emerge as a transformative trend not only for the design and manufacturing industry but also for the AEC sector.

Other Skills Crucial in Design and Manufacturing 

According to the report, following AI, the second and third most sought-after skills in the design and manufacturing industry are Software Development and Digital Project Management. As technology advances, expertise in software development becomes crucial for creating tailored solutions that streamline processes and drive innovation. Likewise, adept digital project management ensures successful project execution in an increasingly complex and interconnected digital landscape.

Additionally, the industry demands cybersecurity knowledge and data analytics expertise to safeguard valuable assets and derive actionable insights from data, further solidifying the evolving skill set required in the design and manufacturing sector.

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