Manufacturing News

SolidWorks launches $1 a download donation program

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks has launched a donation program to promote environmental sustainability among product designers.

SolidWorks will donate $1 for every download of its SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress 3D CAD solution, up to $10,000, to Formula Hybrid, an international competition for university engineering students to develop high-performance fuel-electric hybrid vehicles.

SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress is professional-grade software providing advanced functionality that aides engineers in determining a product’s carbon footprint, energy consumption, air and water impact.

“Environmentally sound principles apply to every product, not just those we automatically think of as ‘green,’ like wind turbines and solar cells,” said Rick Chin, SolidWorks director of product innovation.

“A water bottle can be designed around environmental principles if the engineer considers the material they use, how much of it they use, how and where it’s manufactured, and what happens when the bottle isn’t useful anymore. Is it made of injection-molded plastic or formed aluminium? These are the kind of basic decisions that any product designer can make to reduce the environmental impact of their designs, given the right tools and the right mindset.”

SolidWorks’ donation will help offset the cost of Formula Hybrid’s annual May competition, where students from North America, Europe, and Asia test their designs for speed and fuel economy in a professional-style race.

Last year’s winning team, from Texas A&M University, used SolidWorks 3D CAD to design its vehicle.

“Putting sustainability tools like this into the hands of engineers/designers at the earliest stages of the design process is innovative, forward thinking and vitally important for the fututre of all product and process design,” said Formula Hybrid Deputy Director Wynne Washburn.

“SustainabilityXpress will aid in students’ decision making process regarding sustainability and life-cycle of any one component and/or material that is used in building their plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles for the Formula Hybrid Competition. This product gets students thinking, from the very beginning of the process, about where their resources are coming from,” said Mr Washburn.

“If they know a certain material is created through a process that’s not environmentally sustainable while an alternative material is sustainable, they can decide to use the sustainable material. Today, issues of sustainability are critical. This tool sheds light into an area where, previously, there has been very little information.”

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