About Autodesk’s Eco Materials Advisor

Eco Materials Advisor (EMA) was announced On March 22, 2011 along with the announcement of Autodesk’s 2012 Manufacturing Software Portfolio. Two days ago I had a chance to meet with Sarah Krasley, the Autodesk Product Manager for EMA in lovely downtown New York.

During the 45 minutes we were together Sarah reviewed what the EMA product does, its cost, and the benefits to its users.

As opposed to SolidWorks Sustainability Xpress, which is oriented towards a more macro like ability, EMA focuses primarily on the materials used in the product and is designed to be used in the early stages of design.

Using Eco Materials Adviser, a designer can quickly generate an eco impact analysis for a product part or assembly within Autodesk Inventor software. An easy-to-read dashboard display shows key indicators such as energy usage, CO2 footprint, water usage, and materials cost. The user can interactively explore the effect of changes in the materials choice or design of their digital prototype. The tool is powered by Granta Design’s (http://www.grantadesign.com/) expert materials database and proven sustainable design methodology. With Eco Materials Adviser, designers and engineers can:

  • Address environmental requirements early in the design process – when changes matter most and cost least
  • Access a practical eco design tool that does not require the user to develop expertise in sustainability, or to hunt for the right eco data
  • Design more sustainable, cost-effective, and durable products
  • Clearly communicate the benefits of enhanced materials selections

This looks like a terrific product and is integrated with all versions of Autodesk Inventor at no extra cost. Any Inventor user can access it via the Environments tab. The Base Version delivers the full Eco Materials Adviser functionality, but uses a starter version of the materials database. So far all of the core Inventor material library has been mapped. The eco impact analysis in the Base Version operates only on the first twenty parts in an assembly. The Full Version will be available for download from the Granta website – release date to be announced in the next few months. This will provide a choice of many more materials and remove the limit on the number of parts in the Inventor model.

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