WIth the Inventor 2012 release, Autodesk worked with materials specialists, Granta Design, to develop the Eco Materials Adviser – the base level version of which is supplied to all Inventor users. When launched, both organisations spoke of the full version – which has just been released by Granta Design.
We covered it pretty extensively back in the first issue of the DEVELOP3D Sustainability, but to recap, the base version gives users the ability to perform LifeCycle Assessment (LCA) of the environmental impact of a product in design. The free version, as you’d expect, has a few limitations, such as the range of materials available (it has around 80 common engineering materials) and the number of parts you can run in an assembly. It’ll give data in factors such as CO2 footprint, energy usage, materials cost, water usage, and compatibility with legislation on hazardous substances (RoHS).
The new Full Version builds on the capabilities provided in the base version by enabling users to study assemblies of any size, to investigate materials options in greater depth using Granta’s comprehensive database of around 3,000 materials, and to account for a wider range of contributions to environmental impact. These include finishing processes and the transport and use of the finished product.
Users can purchase the Full Version by following in-product links to the product website or by going directly to inventor.grantadesign.com. It works by connecting over the Internet to a cloud-hosted database that provides the necessary materials, process, and environmental data.
Access is available by annual subscription at US$995, but a launch price of US$795 (till the end of November this year) – there’s no discount available for site-wide licenses under 10 seats. But those users wanting to integrate it into the workflow for greater numbers need to talk to Granta about prices and other options.
Personally, I think is a bit of a mistake to set the bar at 10 seats or above. Some form of bundling should be made to make the full version available to as many users as possible. If these types of tools are going to proliferate, they need to be made available to every designer that needs them rather than the ‘perceived‘ expert.