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Large Language and Text-to-3D Models for Engineering Design Optimization

Thiago Rios, Stefan Menzel, Bernhard Sendhoff, "Large Language and Text-to-3D Models for Engineering Design Optimization", arXiv, 2023.


The current advances in generative AI for learning large neural network models with the capability to produce essays, images, music and even 3D assets from text prompts create opportunities for a manifold of disciplines. In the present paper, we study the potential of deep text-to-3D models in the engineering domain, with focus on the chances and challenges when integrating and interacting with 3D assets in computational simulation-based design optimization. In contrast to traditional design optimization of 3D geometries that often searches for the optimum designs using numerical representations, such as B-Spline surface or deformation parameters in vehicle aerodynamic optimization, natural language challenges the optimization framework by requiring a different interpretation of variation operators while at the same time may ease and motivate the human user interaction. Here, we propose and realize a fully automated evolutionary design optimization framework using Shap-E, a recently published text-to-3D asset network by OpenAI, in the context of aerodynamic vehicle optimization. For representing text prompts in the evolutionary optimization, we evaluate (a) a bag-of-words approach based on prompt templates and Wordnet samples, and (b) a tokenisation approach based on prompt templates and the byte pair encoding method from GPT4. Our main findings from the optimizations indicate that, first, it is important to ensure that the designs generated from prompts are within the object class of application, i.e. diverse and novel designs need to be realistic, and, second, that more research is required to develop methods where the strength of text prompt variations and the resulting variations of the 3D designs share causal relations to some degree to improve the optimization.

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