I’ve posted on similar tools from Sustainable Minds and Sustainability Xpress for SolidWorks, and now entering the Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) arena is EcoDesigner. EcoDesigner is a plugin for Solid Edge and was developed by Trayak, a consulting and software solutions company that focuses on product sustainability. The folks over at SolidSmack spoke to Prashant Jagtap of Trayak to get the deets on EcoDesigner and what makes it unique among other competing products.
Very few designers are aware of the environmental impact of their product designs. If designers are able to understand the baseline environmental footprints of their products and can analyze what can be done to reduce these it would drastically improve the overall sustainable aspects of design.
I’ve been asking for more case studies to demonstrate the real-world applicability and viability of these tools and Prashant agrees that there is no easy way to “optimize” material choice using multiple properties. We need to use many more parameters that are relevant and important besides the existing LCA indicators. This is a huge problem requiring us to simultaneously solve for multiple parameters to be successful. But with software like EcoDesigner and those like it, we’re moving (albeit slowly) towards smarter product design.