Discover Your Ultimate Toolkit for Eco-friendly Parts

With global warming on the rise, everyone has a responsibility to be mindful of the environment. Design companies have an even bigger responsibility and opprtunity to make a difference with the way they design products that can have a gentler impact on the environment.

Our customers are well aware of this and definitely focusing on being moreeco-conscious. At SOLIDWORKS giving you the tools to meet your goals, including to be more sustainable, innovative, and of course create an experience, is a priority. Now with 3D Creator, Eco-Design Engineer, and Lattice Designer, you can make create eco-friendly products.

As of the last update to 3D Creator, R2023x FD03, we announced compatibility with Eco-Design Engineer, a role that helps you perform lifecycle assessment studies to assess the environmental impact of your products and select the most sustainable design alternatives. Just like 3D Creator, Eco-Design Engineer is a browser-based role that runs on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform so you can easily use the roles together starting at the beginning of your design phase.

80 percent of a product’s environmental impact is determined during its design stage so it’s important to assess that early on and throughout the design stage.

Eco-Design Engineer can help you every step of the way with the following features and benefits.

With Eco-Design Engineer you can easily assess the entire environmental footprint of your product from “cradle to grave” meaning from inception, manufacturing, product usage and end of life by evaluating factors like water use, land use, and CO2 emissions based on the ecoinvent Association’s lifecycle inventory database, Ecoinvent  (v3.9.1).

You also have digital continuity between your design lifecycle assessment so you can quickly switch back and forth between 3D Creator and Eco-Design Engineer to see how design changes will affect your product’s eco footprint in real time.

With assembly visualization, it’s easy to visualize sustainable impacts in context of the 3D assembly. The least sustainable parts of your assembly are highlighted on the 3D model, so you know where to focus your efforts. And you can also make comparisons between design alternatives in a single assessment.

In addition, since these roles run on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform you can:

  • Capture corporate environmental knowledge
  • Trace the lifecycle assessment throughout the design phases
  • Reuse in new projects of previous environmental studies

In the xDesign app you can simply drag and drop your part into the Eco-Design Assessment app to evaluate the environmental impacts of the component. When your model is open in 3D Creator, just open Eco-Design Engineer so you have both widgets side by side and drag and drop your model.


You can drag and drop multiple components to compare design alternatives based on various materials, dimensions, and volume of parts, for example. This gives you the ability to choose the most sustainable options throughout the entire design process, providing an enormous impact on your product’s sustainability.

To kick things up a notch you can also use Lattice Designer to design stronger parts using less material. Lattice Designer is a cloud-connected role for designing lattice structures optimized for stronger, more lightweight 3D-printed parts.

We’re continually improving the functionality for working with lattice data in xDesign. Now once you generate a lattice using the Lattice Designer app, you can measure the geometry in xDesign using the Weight Properties command. Also, if you change the dimensions of the region of the part that’s infilled with the lattice, you can generate a new lattice directly in xDesign with the Solve command.


3D Creator, Eco-Design Engineer, and Lattice Designer work seamlessly together so you can get the results you need, fast. As you know they say actions speak louder than words so watch the video below to see this workflow in action!


In closing I’d like to ask you this: is your design sustainable?

When starting your design process consider the following questions:

  • What will be the environmental footprint of this product or manufacturing process?
  • This new design seems more eco-friendly, but is it really the case when all lifecycle phases are taken into account?
  • Where does the main part of the environmental footprint come from?
  • How can two design alternatives be compared in a way that ensures no pollution shifting between lifecycle phases?

Eco-Design Engineer can help you meet these challenges. Sustainability assessment is a process that must be started early and is continuous. On a side note, decision-making during the initial design is cheaper and easier.

So, what are you waiting for? Design for a sustainable future and make a difference in the way you design today!

Check out the 3DEXPERIENCE Works website and SOLIDWORKS Cloud Offer to see all the purpose-built tools available to you now.

To see what else is new in 3D Creator and other design roles see my last blog here.



Daniel McGinn
Dan McGinn is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS. Dan has been working with CAD for 10 years and has experience with structure design, machine design, and robotics. When he’s not at work, you might find him out on the ski slopes or hiking and camping.