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Project Krypton for Plastics Parts Creation

Project Krypton for Plastics Parts Creation

Autodesk is testing reception among design engineers with a free download of its new Project Krypton Technology Preview, a plug-in for select CAD programs that provides design engineers with advice during the early stages of creating plastic parts.

The downloadable plug-in, available on Autodesk Labs, is designed to integrate with Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Inventor LT and SolidWorks, providing engineers with real-time feedback and guidance as they design plastic parts in three areas: manufacturability, cost efficiency and environmental impact. Designed to function similarly to gauges on the dashboard of a car, Project Krypton will alert engineers to poor design decisions that can lead to costly redesigns or retooling as they engineer plastic parts. For example, Project Krypton's Manufacturability Indicator assesses the part after each design modification, providing feedback on potential manufacturing concerns while the Cost Efficiency Indicator will assess how changes to a design influence the overall injection mold, material choice and production costs. The Plastic Material Impact Indicator evaluates the environmental impact of material choices in relation to such characteristics as embodied carbon, embodied energy and recyclability.

Project Krypton is powered by Autodesk Moldflow, Autodesk's injection molding simulation tool. Autodesk is focusing on delivering this kind of real-time advisor capabilities in the area of plastics based on user demand for such functionality, says Bob Williams, Autodesk product manager for simulation products. "The use of plastics continues to grow significantly, especially in the areas of consumer products and automotive," he explains. While engineers have a certain comfort level designing with traditional materials like steel, they don't have that same skill related to the new plastic materials, thus Autodesk sees an opportunity to address user demand.

The Project Krypton Technology Preview will be available on Autodesk Labs until November 13, 2010. It should be available commercially shortly thereafter.

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