Making sure products designed are environmentally friendly and meet all government regulations is a big part of engineering. Many states are passing laws to make sure companies doing business there are developing sustainable products. e.g. the state of California passed a regulation to make trailers coming into California aerodynamic. The goal is to minimize drag, leading to reduced fuel consumption and thus lower greenhouse gas emissions.
SOLIDWORKS has come out with a new tool called "Sustainability". Users can study environmental impact material, manufacturing process, and location on design. SOLIDWORKS Sustainability distills the results into environmental impact factors, such as
Carbon Emissions Carbon dioxide and equivalents, such as carbon monoxide and methane, that are released into atmosphere, resulting in global warming.
Energy Consumed All forms of energy consumed over entire life cycle of product.
Air Acidification Air pollution primarily due to burning of fossil fuels, eventually leading to acid rain.
Water Eutrophication Contamination by fertilizers that travel through rivers to coastal waters, resulting in algae blooms and eventual killing of all sea life in certain coastal regions.
Using Sustainability, users get real time feedback on environmental impact of materials from a dashboard. Also, users can look for a similar material and then compare results.
There are two versions of Sustainability
Handles part documents and is included with every license of SOLIDWORKS for free.
Handles part and assembly files, also supports multiple configurations, and has added environment impact factors.
I believe SOLIDWORKS is keeping ahead of the curve, making sure they are practicing what they preach. Asking designers to think differently and keeping innovation at the forefront.
Product Manager – Design Validation
Computer Aided Technology Inc.