CASTOR announced a unique environmental feature in their powerful part analysis tool.
The California-based company produces a cloud-based system to “screen” parts. The concept is that companies may have vast libraries of CAD designs for parts they’ve accumulated over many years. Now they face the prospect of using additive manufacturing for these parts, and questions immediately arise.
Which parts could actually be made with AM technology? Which parts are worth making with AM, and which are not? What changes might be required to a part design to make it compatible with AM technologies?
You get the idea. Some companies simply stop AM transition because there is no easy way to tackle this manually, something manufacturers are reluctant to dedicate staff towards.
Enter CASTOR, which can automatically review a collection of CAD designs to filter out the ones that aren’t worth AM consideration. Note that it’s not just the geometry that’s examined; the tool also considers the making technology, materials and costs involved. In some cases it is technically possible to produce a part with AM, but the cost of doing so is too high, for example.
While these are highly useful features, CASTOR has added another one: CO2 calculations. CASTOR explains:
“Using a set of geometric and economic analyses CASTOR’s software automatically identifies the parts that make sense to consider 3D printing, technically and economically. With the new CO2 Emission Calculator, CASTOR can now also automatically identify parts’ designs with environmental benefits to be produced using AM, and calculate the potential emissions savings.”
The computation includes factors for materials, production, usage, transportation and disposal/recycling, which is in fact the entire lifecycle of any part.
There are a very few services that deliver functionality similar to CASTOR, but none seem to have this environmental feature.
I have to say that CASTOR is quite forward thinking by adding the CO2 Calculator. While general public interest in the climate emergency seems to be just awakening now, weather effects are now destined to become far more severe in the near future.
At that time the importance of CO2 measurement will become an increasingly critical factor in daily life, and environmental grades on many things will be far more visible.
CASTOR’s CO2 calculator will permit companies of today to produce AM parts that will be optimized for CO2 reduction — and many of those parts will be in use deep into the climate emergency. Many parts made today will persist for many years in their respective applications.
The CO2 generated by today’s parts is simply added to the total. In years to come we will be thankful we made CO2 optimized parts in the past, which is today.