Perspectives on greener product development and manufacturing from Sustainable Minds, our partners, customers and contributors.

Innovation

Webcast #4: MCAD Smackdown! Going head to head: direct vs. parametric modeling (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on February 28, 2011

Originally recorded on February 24, 2011, some of the mechanical CAD industry's most knowledgeable (and opinionated) voices assembled to debate one of today's existential technology questions: When, why and how do you use direct and/or parametric modeling to best support your business? And, is there too much emphasis on the tools and not enough on the resulting design, i.e., is it difficult and expensive to manufacture, service, repair, use, transport and recycle or reuse?

Moderated by Cadalyst contributing editor and CAD guru Bill Fane, an all-star panel began to cut through the marketing hype to deliver some practical, expert insight about these two very different approaches to 3D modeling. Attendees posed their own questions to the panel throughout the discussion. The panel includes avid users and proponents as well as creators of the technologies:

Consensus from Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010 conference

By Sustainable Minds on January 27, 2011

sustainableplasticspackaging.com

Designers see total package
Designing a package to be sustainable and making one that consumers view as sustainable aren’t necessarily the same. “Why we buy things and why we make things are often completely opposite,” said Mark Dziersk, vice president of industrial design in Chicago for global brand design firm Brandimage-Desgrippes & Laga.

“Ninety-five percent of what we work on [in design] is based on a rational process. But why consumers buy things is exactly the opposite” with emotions often accounting for 95 percent of the decision. “All that speaks to the importance of the front-end of the process,” Dziersk said at the Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010 conference in Atlanta.

At Yakima, lifecycle thinking generates products that not only reduce carbon footprint but also drive innovation and save money.

By Sustainable Minds on January 18, 2011

This article was originally published in the Fall 2010 issue of Cadalyst magazine.

Forget about doing the right thing, giving back, and corporate conscience. Today, companies in increasing numbers are pursuing sustainable product design because, plain and simple, it makes good business sense. Environmental performance is the newest criteria for product development — and it's driving innovation and boosting profits.

An approach known as lifecycle assessment, or LCA, is key to realizing these bottom-line benefits, and it's catching on. LCA models the complex interaction between a product and the environment, from cradle to grave. When used in early-stage design, it brings sustainability considerations into product development by taking a comprehensive view of a product's potential lifecycle impacts on the environment in an effort to reduce those impacts (including carbon footprint), as well as overall costs. In short, it supports what is known as the double bottom line: planet and profits.

Read the rest of this article >

Bresslergroup builds a better mousetrap and sustainability wins

By Guest contributors on December 17, 2010

Guest contributor Mathieu Turpault is Director of Design and Managing Partner of Bresslergroup. Based in Philadelphia, Bresslergroup offers innovative product solutions via integrated user research, industrial design and production engineering. The consultancy serves consumer, medical and industrial manufacturers. Founded in 1970, Bresslergroup has won more than 80 major design awards and has authored more than 125 patents. Bresslergroup was an early adopter of the Designers Accord and has hosted two Designers Accord sessions in Philadelphia. 

In redesigning existing products, we have found that incremental change when multiplied by hundreds of thousands of units can have a resoundingly positive environmental impact. Furthermore, when retailers and manufacturers work together to drive sustainability improvements, it creates a role for product design firms to put their create design and engineering talents to work. Sustainable Minds is a powerful tool we use to test hypothesis, evaluate and prove how a redesigned product can be more environmentally responsible.

Autodesk's Sustainability Workshop for engineering faculty and students

By Guest contributors on December 3, 2010

Guest contributor Jeremy Faludi (LEED AP) is a sustainable design strategist and researcher. He teaches green design at Stanford University, where he created the graduate/undergraduate class ME221: Green Design Tools and Metrics, and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

I recently had the pleasure of helping Autodesk develop some sustainable design tutorials. It's called the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, and is aimed at college engineering students and teachers. Along with Autodesk's fantastic Sustainability Initiative team members Dawn Danby and Adam Menter, and the video production wizards at Free Range Studios, we launched a set of five short videos on sustainable design theory that introduce essential concepts of sustainable design, such as whole systems thinking, life-cycle thinking, and lightweighting. The Autodesk folks also put together twenty tutorial videos on how to implement the concepts in Autodesk software, along with datasheets and other resources. More great content is in the works, on other topics.

Webcast #3: The Truth About Environmental Performance Software (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on November 24, 2010

Originally recorded on November 18, 2010, this webcast features Nancy Johnson, editor-in-chief, Cadalyst magazine as moderator, with key representatives from the LCA and PLM worlds discussing the issues honestly and openly:

  • Terry Swack, CEO & Founder, Sustainable Minds
  • Jørgen Vos, Product Management Director, Life Cycle Analytics, PTC InSight Product Analytics
  • Lise Laurin, founder, EarthShift
  • Amy A. Rowell, founder and principal analyst, Four Winds Research

In the effort to create greener products, environmental performance software is but one piece of the puzzle. Sustainable product development requires new knowledge, skills, and processes - supported by technology and applied across the product lifecycle.

Webcast #2: Why Hasn't PLM Taken Over the World? (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on November 16, 2010

This discussion, originally recorded on November 4, 2010 is everything we hoped to create in this new podcast series: intelligent, challenging, fun…and utterly devoid of marketing hype. Listen in as Nancy Johnson of Cadalyst moderates a panel including Ben Eadie, Chad Jackson, Oleg Shilovitsky and Chris Williams discuss PLM as you have never heard it discussed before.
We hope you enjoy the replay >

Autodesk Webcast Replay: Lifecycle Assessment and BIM for Sustainability

By Sustainable Minds on October 20, 2010

Download the webcast >

Robert E. Middlebrooks AIA, Industry Strategy and Relations Manager from Autodesk's AEC Solutions, gave a compelling talk on BIM & LCA. More than 1200 people attended! He demonstrates a great project he built in Sustainable Minds showing how he evaluated the impacts from a flooring system.

AEC professionals are well aware that designing sustainably is key to achieving environmental goals. Architects, engineers, construction professionals and building owners must focus on the best decisions during conception, design, construction and operations in order to support sustainability objectives. Since new buildings and renovation projects will serve their occupants for decades, the overall cost in resources and the environmental impact of operations and maintenance must outweigh the initial costs of construction.

On the Edge with Cadalyst - Webcast #1: Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on October 15, 2010

The first episode, featuring a distinguished panel of experts, focused on "Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety," a discussion that embodies the webcast series' ambitions of bringing a new point-of-view to the important issues facing the CAD and PLM worlds.

Panelists:

  • John Davies, Vice President, GreenBiz Intelligence, Greener World Media
  • Stephen B. Leonard, Design & Innovation Practice Leader, Alcoa Technical Center
  • Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D. Professor, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, KEEN Fellow, Saint Louis University
  • Manish Mehta, Ph.D., Executive Director of Industry Forums and Sustainability, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences

We hope you enjoy the replay >

Please join us for the series - noon ET, 9am PT
November 4 | Webcast #2: Why PLM Hasn't Taken Over the World. Register at http://www.cadalystedge.com/podcast.

Webcast: Overcoming ‘Environmental Performance’ Anxiety

By Sustainable Minds on October 9, 2010

Sustainable Minds’ Affiliate, Cadalyst, is launching a new webcast series with an edge, called “On the Edge with Cadalyst.” The premiere presentation, Overcoming Environmental Performance Anxiety, will discuss how going green can fuel product innovation and increase revenue. It airs live on October 14 at 12pm ET, 9am PT.
Register Now >

Typical webcasts today might include a PowerPoint presentation or software demonstration and often conclude with a sales pitch. A new webcast series from Cadalyst, called On the Edge, will be nothing like that.

On the Edge with Cadalyst will bring together designers, engineers, managers, executives, industry analysts, and hardware and software developers alike to exchange information, ask tough questions, and tackle issues that stand in the way of progress in the fields of manufacturing, AEC, and civil engineering. They’ll always come back to technology because that’s what Cadalyst is all about. But above and beyond that, this series will aim to be an innovative, open forum where people can gather to ask questions, answer questions, and even debate as they work toward the mutual goals of improving design and growing business.