The design of a high precision machine tool presents one main goal for an engineer: to maximize productivity while minimizing resource inputs and wasted outputs. Incorporating additional design requirements to improve the sustainability of the machine tool presents challenges to design engineers. Should productivity be sacrificed for resource efficiency improvements? Previous tools used for incorporating sustainability principles into design provide guidance but lack necessary detail for making informed decisions, or the tools rely on the engineer’s previously developed knowledge in sustainable design. Axiomatic design, being an already accepted system design framework, provides an opportunity to incorporate sustainability considerations into the core of design activities rather than having sustainability be a side activity. A methodology for designing sustainable machine tools using axiomatic design is presented, and a case study on a grinding machine is investigated. A list of hypothetical sustainability axioms are proposed, similar to how the original axioms of axiomatic design were proposed. The axioms are then discussed using the example of a grinding machine tool.

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