By DE Editors
At the Industrial Designers Society of America 2008 National Conference in Phoenix, AZ, Sustainable Minds (Cambridge, MA), a sustainable product design software and information services company, announced its entry into a strategic relationship with Autodesk, Inc. (San Rafael, CA)
Sustainable Minds, an on-demand, Web-based software and information suite, plans to develop software and information services that interoperate with the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping as part of the collaboration. The strategy is to give industrial designers and engineers the knowledge and tools they need in order to understand the environmental impacts of a new product.
The combination of Sustainable Minds’ design decision support software with Autodesk Inventor can make a positive difference to product environmental impact, and ultimately, the world we live in, according to Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions.
Terry Swack, CEO and co-founder of Sustainable Minds, said that as a result of the relationship, product design teams will be able to estimate the environmental and human health impacts of their design decisions and have quantitative results early in the concept stage, so that they can design greener products from the start — before considerable time, cost and resources are irreversibly committed.
Estimating a product’s life cycle impact can address the market and regulatory pressures manufacturers are required to adhere to improve the environmental performance of their products. Sustainable Minds offers sustainable product design expertise and industry information on its website, SustainableMinds.com, as well as an on-demand software and information suite that enables designers to estimate a product’s life cycle impact using the Okala life cycle assessment methodology. What this method does is model ten environmental and human health impact categories (or just global warming impacts, measured in CO2 equivalents) and combines them into a single impact factor value that models a product’s overall potential environmental performance.
This is where Autodesk Inventor comes in, with its ability to produce 3D models to validate a design’s form, fit, and function before it is physically built, or Digital Prototyping. This Digital Prototyping combined with the life cycle assessment software from Sustainable Minds can benefit a wide range of end users who must comply with sustainability requirements or who are building sustainable products.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.