SolidWorks Sustainability

SolidWorks Sustainability provides a screening-level life cycle assessment (LCA) of the environmental impacts of your full design, with seamless integration to your design process.

SolidWorks Sustainability

SolidWorks Sustainability

SolidWorks Sustainability provides a screening-level life cycle assessment (LCA) of the environmental impacts of your full design, with seamless integration to your design process. It includes the diverse tools of Sustainability Xpress (parts assessment, alternative materials search, and environmental impact dashboard) with additional capability to assess both parts and assemblies, using parameters such as transportation mode and distance, assembly energy, and use-phase energy consumption. Flexible inputs, such as recycled content level and end-of-life scenarios, enable more detailed assessments. You can even perform time-dependent environmental comparisons using the varying lifetimes of different design solutions.

Video: First Look SolidWorks Sustainability


Feature Matrix
SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium
Ease of Use

SOLIDWORKS Simulation is fully embedded in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD for ease of use and data integrity. Using the same user interface (UI) paradigms as SOLIDWORKS with toolbars, menus, and context-sensitive right-click menus, ensures rapid familiarization. Built-in tutorials and searchable online help aid learning and troubleshooting.

Design Data Reuse

SOLIDWORKS Simulation supports SOLIDWORKS materials and configurations for easy analysis of multiple loads and product configurations.

Static Studies

Solve part and assembly structural analysis problems for stress, strain, displacements, and Factors of Safety (FOS). Problems are limited to static loading, elastic linear materials, and small contact displacements. For the solution to be valid, the resulting deformed shape after loading must exhibit small displacements and rotations.

Premium only: Static studies are extended to incorporate components built up by composites materials. Component setup includes ply orientation and sandwich definition. Results include ply failure index as well as stress and deflections.

Fatigue Studies

Estimate components fatigue life under high-cycle varying loads where the peak stress is below the material yield stress. Cumulative damage theory is used to predict locations and cycles to failure.

Motion Analysis

Use a time-based, rigid body kinematic and dynamic motion tool to calculate the velocities, accelerations, and movements of an assembly under operational loads.

The motion analysis tool calculates component body and connection loads that can be imported into a Static Study.

Professional and Premium only: Use an event-based rigid body kinematic and dynamic motion tool to calculate the velocities, accelerations, and movements of an assembly under operational loads where actions and movements are triggered by the location or movement of components.

The motion analysis tool calculates component body and connection loads that can be imported into a Static Study.

Design Studies

A design study is used to perform wide-ranging “what if” analyses. In a design study, both the parameters of a design (model) and simulation setup (materials, loadings, and fixtures) can be varied to assess the impact of change on the model.

FEA Modelling

A customizable material library is included with simulation data:

  • Parallel computing (multi-core)
  • Batch Run

Professional and Premium only:

  • 2D Simplification
  • Plane Stress
  • Plane Strain
  • Axisymmetric
  • Sub-modeling Simulation
  • Sub-Modelling: analyze the structural resistance of a sub model from a main assembly

Premium only:

  • Off-loading computing
Loads and Restraints
  • Fixtures to prescribe zero or non-zero displacements
  • Force, pressure, and remote structural loads
  • Temperature loading
  • Import Flow/Thermal Loads
  • Load Case Manager: evaluate the effects of various load combinations on your model. (Available on Profession and Premium packages only)
Assembly Connectivity
  • Component contact
  • Bonded contact condition
  • Node-to-node, surface-to-surface contact condition
  • Shrink Fit condition
  • Virtual Wall condition
  • Self-contact
  • Connectors: bolt, spring, pin, elastic support, and bearing
  • Connectors Safety Check

Professional and Premium only:

  • Edge Weld
  • Thermal contact resistance condition
  • Insulated condition
  • Edge and spot weld connector

Study results are dependent upon the type of study but are displayed as Contour, Iso-Surface, Surface, and Section plots.

Quantity point and line distribution given by the probe tool.

The Design Insight plot shows loaded material.

FEA results can be compared to test data.

Deformed shape results can be animated and the animation saved.

Overlay Simulation results onto SOLIDWORKS graphics.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation results can be communicated to non-SOLIDWORKS users via eDrawings®, a shareable 3D file format.

Help and Support

In-product tutorials, online help, and knowledge base.

  • Customizable simulation report
  • eDrawings of Simulation results
Thermal Analysis

Solve steady-state and transient part and assembly thermal problems for temperature, temperature gradient, and heat flux.

With the Thermal Analysis completed, you can import temperature loads into a Static Study.

Frequency Studies

Frequency Studies determine a product’s natural modes of vibration which is important for products that experience vibration in their working environment.

Buckling Studies

A possible failure mode for long and slender components is by collapse at a load below material yield stress. The buckling study predicts the components buckling load factor.

Pressure Vessel Studies

Linearized stress, a key for safe pressure design, is calculated in the Pressure Vessel Study.

Topology Studies

Enables you to discover new minimal material design alternatives under linear elastic static loading while still meeting component stress, stiffness and vibrational requirements.

Linear Dynamic Studies

Builds upon the Frequency Study to calculate the stresses due to forcing vibrations and calculating the effects of dynamic loads, impact or shock loading, for linear elastic materials. Study types are:

  • Modal Time History Analysis
  • Harmonic Analysis
  • Random Vibration Analysis
  • Response Spectrum Analysis
Non-Linear Analysis

Non-Linear Analysis lets you analyze complex material behavior, such as post-yield metals, rubbers, and plastics, as well as to account for large deflections and sliding contact-in components.

Non-Linear Static Study assumes static loads with loads can be sequenced so that the dynamic effects of the varying load do not affect the study. The complex material models in Non-Linear Static Studies can be used to calculate permanent deformation and residual stresses due to excessive loads, as well as predicting performance for components, such as springs and clip fasteners.

Non-Linear Dynamic Study accounts for the effect of real-time varying loads that are included in calculations and results. In addition to solving non-linear static problems, Non-Linear Dynamic Studies can also solve impact problems.

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Sustainability capabilities

SolidWorks Sustainability uses the gold-standard GaBi LCA environmental impact database from PE International. You can download updates as they become available, and even request new LCA datasets for your custom materials and processes as a premium service in partnership with PE International. Listed below, are some of the powerful features that SolidWorks Sustainability users benefit from. With the addition of standard part libraries, utilities that will search for design errors, fasteners and tools that will automatically estimate your manufacturing costs, the capabilities are endless. If you would like to know more or have any questions, please use the box below.

Sustainable Design

SolidWorks Sustainability provides actionable environmental results by measuring the environmental impacts of individual designs across the product life cycle—including the effects of material, manufacturing, assembly, and transportation. Using industry-standard life cycle assessment (LCA) criteria, the software generates instantaneous feedback at a fraction of the time and cost of a typical assessment. In addition to helping you reduce production costs and develop greener products, environmental assessment can lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your products by evaluating potential transportation, usage, and disposal effects.

Automatic Sustainability Report Generation

Capture and communicate the results of your environmental impacts assessments by automatically and instantaneously generating sustainability reports. SolidWorks Sustainability software automatically generates a professional-quality sustainability report that details your product assumptions, the results of the Environmental Impact Dashboard, a hot-spot analysis of components in the assembly, and comparison to the baseline design. The report also includes a glossary of terms relevant to environmental life cycle assessment.

GaBi Environmental Database

Use the worldwide gold standard for environmental impact data to ensure the validity and credibility of your environmental impacts assessments with SolidWorks Sustainability software . The extensive GaBi® Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database, created by PE INTERNATIONAL, a pioneering life cycle assessment (LCA) firm, is built on scientific expertise and empirical data gathered over 20-plus years. The GaBi environmental database is regularly updated inside SolidWorks Sustainability to ensure information is current.

Environmental Impact Dashboard

See the environmental impacts of your design in real time as you make design changes or product decisions with the SolidWorks Sustainability built-in Environmental Impact Dashboard. The dashboard tracks four key environmental indicators (carbon footprint, total energy consumed, impacts to the air, and impacts to the water) to continually assess environmental impacts as you design, helping you make important design decisions that save time, reduce costs, and improve your products.

Material Optimization

Optimize material usage to lessen environmental impacts by quickly finding alternative materials that match your engineering parameters. Use the Find Similar Materials tool to specify the engineering parameters that are critical to your design and search the SolidWorks material database for all materials that match those parameters. This enables you to satisfy your design requirements while choosing material with the least environmental impacts.

Assembly Visualization

Assigning colors to rank and sort components in your assembly designs can help you pinpoint parts that contribute the greatest environmental impacts. SolidWorks Assembly Visualization provides full support for sustainability parameters, enabling you to rank, sort, and color your design on any of the four traditional LCA indicators and related sustainability parameters.

Screening-Level Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Perform a screening-level life cycle assessment (LCA) during design at a fraction of the time and cost of a full LCA. SolidWorks Sustainability software enables you to perform a screening-level LCA during design, which streamlines the process if a full, ISO 14040-certified LCA is performed. Environmental LCA is the most comprehensive and widely accepted method for measuring the environmental impacts of product designs.