CES EduPack 2013 is a powerful tool for teaching materials and process, which has been widely used in higher education in engineering subject areas. CES EduPack provides a module called ‘Eco-Audit tool’ assessing ecological impact of products based on its powerful database built inside the package. After the user inputs materials, processes, transport and recycle information, the results of energy consumption and CO2 footprints are then presented.
In the package, a product can be defined by designer through CAD modeling and material selection. The product volume will be calculated by the software based on the model created, and the mass of the part is then obtained. After determining the processing method in manufacturing and lifespan, it considers transportation from the region where the product is manufactured to the region where the product is used, and energy consuming between different locations. For end of life stage, percentage of different waste treatment including recycle, incineration, and landfill can be defined. The package uses CML and TRACI lifecycle assessment method and Gabi database, which is a widely-used LCA database in Europe. Solidworks employs the original database which it cannot be modified by the user.
The impact distribution proportion of components is available in the results of Solidworks 2013. It provides a comparison between several parts or assemblies and determines which component has the most or least environmental impact. Unfortunately, the results only show carbon footprints, water eutrophication, air acidification and energy, which may be not detailed enough for application in further design optimization. Besides, CAD modeling is requested before getting the sustainability report of a product. Sometimes the CAD modeling process is time consuming and a complex work. Figure 2 shows an user interface of the package.