Research at Loughborough University has resulted in a new design tool that breeds new shapes at the touch of a screen.

The evolutionary software automatically creates new shapes based on the DNA of earlier shapes, rapidly offering endless inspiration to the designer and reducing the time between concept generation and digital modelling.?It can instantly generate a variety of shapes that the designers can then evolve towards whatever they like – the designers simply select the shapes they like or score them, prompting the system to breed new populations of shapes. The real innovation is that each new population of shapes will inherit the desirable features of the previously selected shapes, while simultaneously offering new ideas and variations.

 “By selectively breeding 3-D shapes, EvoShape is not only inspiring product form and styling but also innovative new product features,” said Dr Ian Graham. “It’s exciting to see how a family of products can evolve from the same ‘shape DNA’ and also how this can encourage design professionals and their clients to collaborate on product design, across many industry sectors.”

Following its initial trial with ten Leicestershire companies, EvoShape was unveiled to the design industry in Austria in October. Since then, it has already stimulated further collaborations with companies in Italy, America and the UK.