The constant growth of environmental concerns and in order to satisfy the increasing population demands, designers have started to integrate eco-design parameters in early design stages. The technological development that happened in the last decade has started to integrate LCA methods within CAD tools, allowing non-geometric data to be integrated in a typical geometrical model. The main research interest of this thesis is focused on the evaluation of the use of these emerging CAD tools, as tools capable to evaluate the futures environmental impacts of products and processes. This thesis studies through three comparative case studies if SolidWorks Sustainability as a CAD tool integrating LCA features, is an acceptable and feasible software to perform a real LCA. The LCA software used for the comparison is GaBi. Results from the analyses revealed that SolidWorks Sustainability works as a trade-off solution introducing sustainability features into product design. However, it does not provide an accurate and extensive analysis the same way a dedicated LCA does. Thus, CAD-integrated tools should be only used as comparative tools. Further research with different products, settings, and software will bring more precise conclusions about the accuracy of these CAD tools.


Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Impacts, Ecodesign, Sustainability, Product Life Cycle, CAD Tools

Date of this Version




Department Head

Kathryne Newton

Month of Graduation



Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Kathryne Newton

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Nathan W Hartman

Advisor 2

John W Sutherland

Committee Member 1

Miquel Barcelo