In this article, we begin to explain the concept of sustainable design and how you use a new feature of a leading 3D MCAD software in engineering sustainable design products.
What is Sustainable Design - Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment and services to comply with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability. SustainabilityXpress (SE) included in every seat of SolidWorks 2010 lets you do "sustainable design" easily, from within the application. You can compare results from similar materials to produce the optimal sustainable design.
Handles part documents and is included in the core SE Handles parts and assemblies. Available as a separate product. Other functionality includes configuration support expanded reporting, and expanded environmental impact options.
Life Cycle Assessment
By integrating Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) into the design process, you can see how decisions about material, manufacturing, and location (where parts are manufactured and where they are used) influence a design's environmental impact. You specify various parameters that SE uses to perform a comprehensive evaluation of all the steps in a design's life.
o Ore extraction from the earth
o Material processing
o Part manufacturing
o Product usage by the end consumer
o End of Life (EOL) - Landfill, recycling, and incineration
o All the transportation that occurs between and within each of these steps.
Environmental Impact Factors
Sustainability Express assesses all the life cycle steps based on your material, manufacturing, and location input. SolidWorks Sustainability distills the results into environmental impact factors, which it measures and totals. Carbon dioxide and equivalents, such as carbon monoxide and methane, that are released into the atmosphere, resulting in global warming.
All forms of energy consumed over the entire life cycle of the product.
Air pollution primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels, eventually leading to acid rain.
Contamination by fertilizers that travel through rivers to coastal waters, resulting in algae blooms and the eventual killing of all sea life in certain coastal regions.
SolidWorks Sustainability provides real-time feedback on these impact factors in the Environmental Impact Dashboard, which updates dynamically with any changes. You can generate customizable reports to share the results.
Sustainability Xpress in SolidWorks 2010 can help in making product designs make a positive difference for the environment.
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