Green Design Contest in Full Swing

Thanks to all those of you who have participated in our Green Design Contest so far! I'm dying to preview your entries, but I'm going to wait until the formal judging starts on July 1st to check them all out at once.

And just a reminder of some of the prizes you could win…

Chaa Creek Eco-Resort, Belize  Apple iPad 2 

I want to respond to a few general questions that have come up.


Do I have to be the primary account holder of my SolidWorks license?

No, not at all. We're just asking for an "authorized SolidWorks license" to verify that you have a real license and to confirm that your license is appropriate for the category you've entered (Commercial or Educational).  

Can we enter as a team?

Each person should enter her or his own design. Else, how else would we know whom to give the prizes to?? Feel free to work together, of course, as long as each person enters on their own.

Can I add padding to the chair? It looks awfully uncomfortable.

Our "client", Sir Richard Doylson, wants the chair made from a single material, so make it as comfortable as you can with that constraint. They're designed to sit in for about 20 minutes as you wait for a plane, remember, not sit for a full day working in an office. And I'm sure just about any design would be more comfortable than the industrial steel plate that we gave you in the starter model.

I want to make this out of <insert your favorite Super Sustainable Material here>, but I can't find that in the standard SolidWorks material database.

You have to have the correct material properties to run Sustainability and Simulation analyses. For SimulationXpress, that means having the appropriate mechanical properties, whether that's a standard or custom material; for SustainabilityXpress, that means setting or linking to a standard SolidWorks material's LCA data.

Bamboo laptop If you're using SolidWorks 2011, you can run the simulation with a custom material (as long as you provide the mechanical properties), and then link this custom material to an appropriate standard material's Sustainability data. For example, if you want to use everyone's favorite woody perennial evergreen grass in your design, you can create a custom material called "Bamboo", find the properties online to run SimulationXpress, and then link its Sustainability data to an appropriate material, such as another wood to run SustainabilityXpress (right-click on the Material, "Edit Material", then in the Sustainability field, click "Select…" and choose the wood).

If you are using SolidWorks 2010, you can run the simulation using your custom material, and then run Sustainability using an appropriately-similar standard material. In either case, be sure to explain what you did and why in your 250-word summary.

Can I use recycled materials?

SolidWorks Sustainability currently includes the typical trade mix of recycled content in each material (where Recycled vase_full such data is available), but you can't adjust this amount higher. So if you'd like to indicate a higher recycled percentage or a novel source for your material, just describe this in the 250-word description that you'll submit. Want to be able to adjust this recycled content value in Sustainability in your real designs? Submit an enhancement request, and if we hear that from enough people, we'll start working on it!

Do I have to start with your starter model?

No, of course not. That's just intended to spark your imagination to think, "man, I could do way better than this." Feel free to start your own model from scratch, and submit this new design as long as it meets the criteria.

Can I enter more than one design?

Of course, just submit a separate entry for each.

What sort of entries do you have so far?

World-US Currently it's mostly Commercial entrants, with a few Resellers sprinkled in. About half of the submissions are from the US, with the remainder coming from countries such as India, Austria and the Philippines. So far we have received very few student entries… students, where are you?! We want to invite two of you to show off your green designs at SolidWorks World 2012!

How long do I have again?

Until June 30th. Just a few more weeks…

Feel free to ask any more questions here, and I'll answer as best I can. Good luck everyone, and I look forward to seeing your innovative green design ideas!