Thermal design
Jan 22, 2021

Generative design is key to heat sink innovation

How does generative design of heat sink topology increase thermal performance? Imagine what it would be like to not be limited by your brain. We are all influenced by our education and life experiences, making our brain not only biased, but also limited. In heat sink design, this notion makes innovation harder than it needs to be.

Software can also be biased. But generative design isn't your typical software. That's due to the combination of AI and machine learning behind it.

“By using software, you can take into account many, many numbers. That’s really important in fluid mechanics. If you change one number it also changes another number.” says Gert-Jan Paulus, Diabatix AI design engineer.

Through the generative approach, the thermal engineers at Diabatix have discovered that parallel cooling fins and S-shaped cooling channels aren’t the only ways to efficiently dissipate heat. In fact, there are better, unexplored ways of achieving optimal heat transfer and heat sink design. They were explored by software, and are nearly impossible to replicate by hand.

Have a look at the graphic below. Would you change the design of your heat sink to take full advantage of material conductivity? Maybe. Maybe not. Well, generative design would. Every time. This microscopic example highlights what generative design embodies: Customize every facet of a design to maximize output potential under given conditions.

In our world, innovation never ceases. In some specific sectors, like automotive and electronics, continuous innovation is what separates leaders from the pack. Improvements in thermal design can positively affect the product innovation cycle. For example, in space application, weight savings from more efficient designs can reduce mission costs through lower fuel demand. Better thermal performance can result in safer batteries and propel development of longer ranges. Thermal design should never prevent innovation, it should propel it.

See an air cooled heat sink designed through our generative thermal design software below. Visit our media page for additional design examples.

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