Why wait until you’re trying to construct a product before figuring out the environmental impact of what’s going into it? Why indeed? That’s the motivation behind a new development partnership between Sustainable Minds and Autodesk. The goal is to provide industrial designers and engineers the knowledge to understand the environmental impacts of a new product.
An on-demand software and information suite will help designers estimate a product’s life cycle impact. This life cycle assessment software will complement Autodesk product for three-dimensional digital prototyping, Autodesk Inventor.
What this means, in simple terms, is that a product design team will be able to evaluate the green credentials of using a specific design or material in terms of things like human health or carbon footprint right when it is creating a product, before it gets to actual, physical prototyping. For those in the know about such things, the software pulls knowledge from the Okala lifecycle assessment methodology, which is explained here. The companies cite BigToys, which make commercial playground equipment drawing from recyclable or renewable materials, as a company that has benefited from its software.
In June/2008, Sustainable Minds released software to help answer sustainable design questions.
In February/2008, Autodesk acquired two energy analysis software companies – Green Building Studio, which provides web-based building energy analysis, and Carmel Software Corporation, which develops HVAC mechanical engineering software.