Autodesk Offers Add-on for Manufacturing Sustainability Insights

The MSI add-on for Autodesk Fusion helps users discover the carbon impacts of design decisions.

The MSI add-on for Autodesk Fusion helps users discover the carbon impacts of design decisions.

MSI offers real-time visibility into the carbon impact of various design and manufacturing variables. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Autodesk is debuting a new Manufacturing Sustainability Insights Add-on (MSI), free for Autodesk Fusion customers. MSI integrates embodied carbon data directly within Fusion. It was developed in partnership with Gravity, a decarbonization platform for industrial applications, and is powered by their carbon accounting and decarbonization platform.

MSI offers real-time visibility into the carbon impact of various design and manufacturing variables, including material selection, manufacturing process, and geography, Autodesk reports. With few clicks, users can calculate the carbon emissions of their designs and identify alternatives to reduce the product’s carbon footprint. This could include anything from emissions associated with the extraction, processing, location, and transportation of a chosen material to the manufacturing process, according to Autodesk.

All calculations are provided in real time via the Gravity API, which is backed by the mostgranular, transparent data available, Autodesk reports. These early insights in the design phase help designers reduce embodied carbon in products, optimize resource consumption, simplify reporting and disclosure, and promote green product design, Autodesk adds.

“Data, ease-of-use, and low cost are a critical trio to move the design and manufacturing industry toward early and frequent sustainable design decisions,” says Zoe Bezpalko, senior design & manufacturing sustainability manager, Autodesk.

Whether it’s material selection, manufacturing process, or geographical factors, MSI provides critical information at a glance. Take the design of a blender for example.  

Maybe you choose the blender body to analyze, select the manufacturing type, assign the material, and specify the manufacturing location. Using the “Compare Manufacturing Process” feature, you can then identify the key contributors to your design’s emissions. Different manufacturing processes have varying concentrations of emissions.

For example, while additive manufacturing is energy intensive, it also has high material efficiency. You can also weigh the decisions of designing parts for the blender with minimal mass, all while identifying manufacturing in a country with a cleaner grid mix (i.e., how energy is produced in a country) to reduce embodied carbon. The visibility of a country reliant on green energy sources versus more polluting energy, such as coal, is now transparent without the need for any additional data or research. 

With the “Calculations” feature, you can understand the data used for the analysis, how carbon values are computed, and explore external documentation with further details on these calculations. MSI also tracks all changes and monitors design modifications. The “Persistent View” feature continuously tracks emissions during the design process and supports multi-component analyses. Designers can use this tool for live feedback from MSI on how their design changes are impacting the carbon value of their product. 

Start by downloading the Manufacturing Sustainability Insights (MSI) Add-on for Autodesk Fusion from the Autodesk App Store. Open the Installer and follow the installation steps. Once the installation is complete, the add-on will be accessible in Fusion under the utility tab of the Design workspace.  

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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