Win a trip to Belize and more in the SolidWorks Green Design Contest

I'm excited today to write about the launch of our SolidWorks Green Design Contest, in honor of Earth Day. Many of you may not yet have tried the environmental assessment tool that comes free with SolidWorks, called SustainabilityXpress. Those of you who have played with Sustainability may not realize how useful it can be when used in conjunction with our Simulation tools.

Hopefully this contest will give you a nice excuse to try 'em all…especially with some cool trips and gadgets on the line. The concept of the challenge is pretty simple. We've provided a rather plain-looking model of a chair, and are asking you to redesign it — or design it anew — to make it functional, beautiful, and more sustainable.

If you're up to the challenge you could win some cool stuff. The Grand Prize in the commercial contest is a trip to Chaa Creek Eco Lodge in Belize:

Chaacreek_room Chaacreek_bike 

I've been there, and yes, it's as awesome as it looks.

The Grand Prize for the student contest is a trip to SolidWorks World 2012. And for the runners-up, we're handing out a total of 14 iPads (including 3 for our top Reseller designs). There are 56 winners in all in the various categories, so your chances are pretty good!

I'm looking forward to checking out your designs with these characters on the judging panel:

Al Dean, Editor-in-Chief, Develop3D and the newly-launched Develop3D Sustainability magazines
Sol Diamond, Assistant Professor, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College
Josh Mings, Owner/Editor,
Mark Buckley, VP of Environmental Affairs, Staples
Stephen Endersby, Simulation Product Manager, SolidWorks
Rick Chin, Director of Product Innovation, SolidWorks
Asheen Phansey, Sustainability Product Manager, SolidWorks (that's me)

Why a contest for sustainable design? Earth Day is a celebration of our planet, and reminds us that the actions we take every day in doing our jobs can have a tremendous impact – positive or negative – on the natural capital and vibrant ecosystems that make the Earth our home. With 400K+ commercial users and 1M+ educational users, SolidWorks designers make a lot of the "stuff" that we use every day. What if we could boost awareness of the lifecycle impacts of our designs and products?

What I want everyone to realize is that you don’t always need to make sacrifices to advance sustainability — you can make a product that’s greener, and still functional and beautiful. In invite you to "watch this space" for some tips and tricks for winning the contest in the weeks to come!

You can find out more about the SolidWorks Green Design Contest on our website.

And, because I can't resist, a couple more pictures of Chaa Creek, notably the bar and the nearby Mayan ruins in Guatemala…

 Chaacreek_bar Chaacreek_ruins