PRé Sustainability is a Netherlands-based company that provides consulting, training, and software solutions to improve sustainability performance. PRé’s flagship product is SimaPro, life cycle assessment (LCA) software that arms product designers and manufacturers, decision-makers, and sustainability experts with science-based data to make informed decisions about environmental impacts.
ProtoTech Solutions is a leading provider of 3D software technology solutions. They are experts in 3D visualization, data interoperability and application development. They provide consulting and custom software development, and have developed solutions for agricultural, medical, engineering design, civil, architecture, manufacturing and many other industries.
The Challenge: Sustainability data is disconnected from product design data
The data produced by LCA and product design is complex and fragmented. SimaPro collects and analyzes various sustainability performance information, from raw material selections to transportation emissions. That data lives in SimaPro while, product designers create models inside separate CAD and 3D modeling systems. They’re making critical decisions about weights, dimensions, and materials in the early design stages when 80% of environmental impacts are defined. Yet, they have little or disconnected visibility into sustainability data during those stages. Too often, the design is baked when it reaches a performance assessment.
The Solution: A design environment where sustainability data is front and center
PRé wanted to connect SimaPro’s calculation engine directly with the software where designers are modeling for faster insights into design choices.
Partnering with systems integrator ProtoTech Solutions, the companies built a Fusion 360 web application that provides real-time LCA analysis alongside the design. The Viewer pulls in the Fusion 360 model, while the Model Derivative API fetches the bill of materials (BOM) data. The BOM posts to SimaPro’s cloud engine, which returns instant impact calculations. SimaPro’s analysis runs entirely in the background while engineers remain in the Fusion 360 web app interface.
This merging of data helps designers test their assumptions and get immediate feedback on questions like: What’s the environmental impact? Is a lighter-weight material plausible? Is steel necessary, or will something less carbon-intensive work? Bringing these questions upstream enables sustainability-led product design at scale.
Business Outcomes: More sustainable products, faster
- Better decision-making and sustainability outcomes for product designs
- More efficient process for integrating performance data
- Reduced design churn in achieving sustainability metrics
“Environmental data can’t be complex or delayed. We have to make it as easy for people to have good information, right when they need it. Autodesk’s cloud-based APIs make this possible." - Caspar Honeé, Sustainability Solutions Architect for Pré Sustainability
“The SimaPro calculations run entirely in the background while someone is designing. We can bring that analysis right into the Fusion 360 models. As design adjustments are made, you’ll receive immediate feedback about environmental impacts.” - Rajesh Bhartiya, Founder & CEO, ProtoTech Solutions