Sustainable materials assistant tool

AS an extension to its digital prototyping solution, Autodesk has announced the Sustainable Materials Assistant - a software add-in available from Autodesk Labs.

AS an extension to its digital prototyping solution, Autodesk has announced the Sustainable Materials Assistant – a software add-in available from Autodesk Labs.

For use with Autodesk Inventor 2009 software, the tool is designed to help manufacturers make more responsible materials decisions that can reduce their product’s environmental impact while still meeting critical performance requirements.

The software is designed to help manufacturers incorporate environmental design considerations early into their designs, through an expanded materials library.

The software adds new property fields for materials that are included in the Inventor materials library. Users can populate these new fields with information about the toxicity, recyclability, carbon footprint and regulatory compliance issues of any of these materials.

The software also includes a sustainability report function. Accessible from the Inventor software’s Bill of Materials Editor, the sustainability report analyses and aggregates the properties based on the materials and components that comprise a given design option.

Users can output a report in HTML format to document, compare and communicate the sustainability of their designs with key stakeholders, helping design teams make informed, environmentally responsible product decisions.

The software is available as a free technology preview download on Autodesk Labs – labs.autodesk.com.

Visitors to the website are encouraged to experiment with inventive new tools and provide feedback to Autodesk product engineers as they refine and revise advanced technology in the early stages of product development.

This is a US initiative, but users from other regions can download the software.