Have you ever planned on using a certain material for one of your designs and then had trouble getting it from your suppliers? Or it got REAL expensive suddenly? This would require you to find a suitable alternative material, which should be easy, right? Just open up the Material Library and whoa! You mean I have to sift through all those zillions of materials in there? Let’s just use balsa wood and keep our fingers crossed. Well, the product liability lawyers aren’t going to like this but there is a great tool built into SustainabilityXpress to help you out with this incredibly tedious task. It’s called “Find Similar Materials” and even if the effects of your material selection on the environment aren’t first on the list of your priorities, it’s well worth it to run a SustainabilityXpress analysis to make use of this great engineering tool.
Just select “Find Similar” and you’ll get a chance to narrow your search by the physical properties of the material. Need something stronger? Lighter? Handles heat better? No problem!
Once you get the results of your refined search, you can further eliminate candidates from the list by checking the boxes next to the materials that are more common, cheaper, readily available, etc. and hitting the “Show Selected Only” button to make the list more manageable.
Now, just imagine how long it would take (and how mind-numbing it would be!) to do that in the Material Library one material at a time. And what if your criteria included more than one specific material property? Not fun. Give this a look if you run into this problem with any frequency.