Measuring Environmental Impact with SOLIDWORKS Sustainability – Assemblies

As with providing the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of parts, Sustainability can also provide an LCA of a complete assembly. (Not included in SustainabilityXpress)


One of the great things with Sustainability using assemblies is that you can use other assembly tools at the same time, such as Assembly Visualization.

You can use Assembly Visualization to focus on the components that most affect an assembly's environmental impact. To access Sustainability properties in Assembly Visualization, you must have SOLIDWORKS Sustainability installed (not just SustainabilityXpress).

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability evaluates the environmental impact of a design throughout the life cycle of a product. In Assembly Visualization, you can sort components by Sustainability properties, which are related to items such as energy consumption and air acidification. You can apply colors to the components based on the value of a particular property, to help you visualize the relative environmental impacts of the various components.

To sort and visualize Sustainability properties:

1. In the assembly, click Sustainability (Tools toolbar or Evaluate tab on the CommandManager) or Tools > Sustainability .

2. In the Sustainability Task Pane, apply materials and other properties and click View Results.

3. Click Assembly Visualization (Tools toolbar or Evaluate tab on the CommandManager) or Tools > Assembly Visualization . The Assembly Visualization tab appears in the FeatureManager pane.

4. On the Assembly Visulation tab, click the arrow to the right of the column headers and click More

5. In the Custom Column dialog box: In Properties, select a Sustainability property (for example – Sustainablilty-Total Carbon)

The selected property appears at the top of the sorting property column.


6. To apply colors to the components based on the value of the property: On the left side of the panel, click the vertical bar to turn on the color spectrum.

To change the color of a slider, right-click it, click Change color, and select a color. For example, you can change the lower slider to green to show that components near the bottom of the list are more environmentally friendly.


We hope this series gives you some good insight to the new SOLIDWORKS Sustainability product.  Please check back to the CATI Blog as the Dedicated Support Team will continue posting new series of articles every month that go further into the details of many of the SOLIDWORKS tools. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Daily Dose…..of SOLIDWORKS Support and links to each article with their release date are listed below:

Blake Cokinis

Sr. Support Product Specialist

Computer Aided Technology

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