it is not about designing a building using digital tools, but rather to design a building that could not have been either designed or built without them,’ quotes architectural historian mario carpo. dassault systemes is an industry leader for this creative future. their tools, like the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, supports a wide range of applications including mechanical engineering, simulation, additive manufacturing and more in many different disciplines. one of their latest and most innovative, CATIA xGenerative design, is a key facilitator in aiding designers and architects realize new possibilities.


create and validate your designs through the xGenerative design application – explore here.

realize the formerly impossible with dassault systemes xGenerative design tool
all images courtesy of dassault systemes



we have seen terms like parametric, computational, algorithmic or generative design emerging for the last 10 years or so in the architecture, engineering and construction industry (AEC). these terms are actually quite old as the first software developers created parametric modelling solutions 30 years ago. we all remember the first time we saw an architect – or a piece of architecture for that matter – form a shape that seemed impossible. it was realized through the mastering of advanced modelling solutions rather than conventional 2D mediums. the disruptive use of non-AEC technology by architects opened a new era for design. it wasn’t until 2010 that the industry rapidly transformed to what we see now,explains nicolas senemaud, senior consultant at dassault systemes, in an interview to designboom.


an architect in training and practice, nicolas senemaud has always been a technology passionate at heart. as a senior consultant for dassault systemes cloud team, he supports partners and clients in adopting and implementing the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to benefit their individual businesses and needs. as such, he constantly questions, proposes and develops helpful technology solutions for the creative industry. one such tool is xGenerative design.

realize the formerly impossible with dassault systemes xGenerative design tool
catia V5 model of frank gerhy’s peix in barcelona, 1992



from 2010 onwards, the advancements of computational design has strengthen the belief that creatives can mass customize pretty much everything in a building. these applications have transformed practices as well as even the ideas of how we perceive space. the emergence and democratization of visual coding accelerated this trend. students and professionals alike have been enabled to create and control complex shapes with just a couple of nodes, and this is where the xgenerative design applications comes in.


computational design stopped being a niche for fancy designs, and started catching attention from all actors as a corner stone for automation techniques, from urban planning to shop drawing generation,states nicolas.


for computational civil design, a bridge skeleton is modelled and controlled though xGenerative design. the detailing and rebar modelling is completed with specific CATIA application



dassault systemes has been developing a very large set of specific applications with xGenerative design, whether it is for process simulation, finite element analysis, and design optimization,adds becomes the parametric base of those holistic and advanced models. the unicity and robustness enables creatives to switch without friction to mix computational design and kinematics, finite element analysis etc. for the first time.


as part of the 3DEXPERIENCE on the cloud, xGenerative design is a CATIA application that is web based. users do not need to install hardware to create, open or modify their parametric design; it can be accessed securely from anywhere with any device. the tool also represents a big shift in formalizing computational design. it helps keep track of the evolution, manages ownership, and maturity state of the model as it introduces a collaborative ability. smart visual coding helps the user create their scripts and easily reuse it with other applications. this approach smooths the work process.

realize the formerly impossible with dassault systemes xGenerative design tool
enovia applications like collaborative lifecycle enables to PLMize the computation design process – it keeps track of the evolution of the model



it amplifies two of the biggest values CATIA brings to the industry: the ability to handle very large assemblies and the template based approach,’ clarifies nicolas.


firstly, it enables multiple designers to create assemblies and connect multiple xGenerative design parts. these can share common reference geometries as well as parameters. once one changes, the design automatically updates. the tool can then be used as a parametric skeleton for template instantiation, which are product lifecycle management (PLM) objects that can embed lots of information, from shop drawings to local attributes. it expedites this ability for creatives to validate their designs. with the emergence of modular and off site methods, xGenerative design becomes thus a huge accelerator to allow digital continuity between parametric conceptual design and construction design.


it is the first time a visual coding technology is integrated into a PLM collaborative platform,‘ confirms far, visual coding technologies were file based which was a huge limitations in terms of collaboration and so on. by being integrated into a network of applications, it potential use multiplies. models become more stable and consistent while still being parametric and detailed.


highlighted in this custom concrete formwork generation, xGenerative design greatly accelerates the manufacturing simulation and modularization process



xGenerative design is a very disruptive application in the 3DEXPERIENCE portfolio but for positive reasons: it is web based so very accessible, and the user interface is much more user friendly with a better graphic feedback.nicolas continues to add,anybody with training in classic modelling tools would be able to take it on.


the benefits are plenty for creatives already familiar to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, but also for those who might be new to the technologies. xGenerative design’s 3D and graph design sequence interfaces are in-sync – basically, what you create in one is then automatically generated in the other. this enables users to easily start creating scripts and, for the advanced, to navigate very complex scripts with a much better guidance, especially through the cross-highlight feature.

realize the formerly impossible with dassault systemes xGenerative design tool
parametric bench entirely modelled on the web – find out more, here



xGenerative design is opening up computational design – thus the 3DEXPERIENCE platform – for more designers and architects. it was seen as once a niche tool; from the forming of shapes to the increased needs for modelling like budget estimates, supply chain assessment or risk minimization, industries have a key need for more automation now. at the same time, its support network ensures you have all the guidance you need through the app.


xGenerative design is part of a new generation of applications that are fully web based, which, for the first time, are meant for creative designers, architects and engineers. existing clients see xGenerative design as the missing part of their workflow, but it enables new users, too, who are not used to the language of CATIA,adds nicolas.


tips and tricks on xGenerative design


turning back to architectural historian mario carpo, ‘we no longer need tools for making but tools for thinking’. the visual coding language has become essential for computational, innovative design and sustainable construction. it is less about finding new forms, though, although this is still very much possible with dassault systemes’ applications. the new tool aims to help manage complexities and to benefit simulations and automation in your creations. xGenerative design, as said by expert nicolas senemaud, is another step in enhancing design.


enhance your design ideas through dassault systemes’ xGenerative design application – explore here.