Autodesk Shows a Glimpse of New Green Materials Design Software

prototype image

Photo via Jaymi Heimbuch

Back in October, Granta Material Intelligence, the world's largest materials information technology company, and design software company Autodesk partnered up to bring the best information on materials to the fingertips of designers everywhere. Through their partnership, Autodesk users will be able to access the wealth of information on materials available from Granta, and adjust their designs according to what materials make their designs both the best, and the greenest. At a sustainability summit in San Francisco last week, Autodesk showed off a glimpse of the prototype software program that will allow designers to measure the footprint of their design and swap out materials to minimize eco-impact. Measuring various footprints including carbon and energy consumption, the software will show designers where their product stands as built, and make suggestions for comparable materials that would reduce the environmental impact of the design without compromising integrity. Designers can then make their creations the greenest possible.

We saw something similar underway with Adobe software back in 2009, where sustainable materials selection would be increasingly easier to make as a feature of the design software.

It is a very big deal that such a massive warehouse of materials information will soon be available to Autodesk users, a software suite used by millions of designers -- indeed it is even offered free to anyone with a .edu email address, which means design students can begin learning to make smart eco-friendly design decisions right from the gate.

While we were only able to view a tiny snippet of a prototype program, we're excited about the potential, and will be looking out for announcements on when the feature will be launched.

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