SolidWorks products improving engineers' sustainability design capabilties
The world has a limited amount of resources, and as humans continue to deplete these reserves sustainability will become a critical issue. If engineers do not take steps to create products and works that move toward sustainability, there will inevitably come a time when there are simply not enough resources left.
As Beth Stackpole of DesignNews recently highlighted, a SolidWorks product lifecycle management (PLM) tool is helping engineers to achieve these goals.
Improving the process
According to the writer, SolidWorks Sustainability helps engineers to combine PLM with computer-aided design (CAD) models.
"[SolidWorks Sustainability] essentially takes their 3D CAD model, including the geometry and materials choices, and runs an assessment on a variety of inputs, including how much energy is used, carbon footprint, and water and air impact," she wrote.
The program then uses color codes and rankings to make these values clear and easy for users to comprehend. As a result, engineers can make informed decisions about how to maximize the sustainability of the products they design.
Oftentimes, according to Stackpole, SolidWorks Sustainability's PLM functions reveal that the most sustainable option for a given model is not the replacement of one material with another, but rather an alteration in the manufacturing process itself.
Stackpole added that SolidWorks Sustainability is particularly effective because it gives sustainability tools to engineers who are likely more familiar with CAD software that, in the past, did not encompass this feature.
A greener future
Market data suggests that demand for sustainable and clean technology is likely to increase into the future. Reuters recently reported that new global investment in clean energy equipment nearly reach $60 billion in the second quarter of 2012, up 24 percent from the first quarter.