Learn from somebody else; if there already is a similar product on the market, test these products and clearly define the pros and cons according to the product’s specifications. Analyse how it is made, which parts are standard and what kind of production technologies are used. This analysis can save you a lot of time and money.
Before you start your design, analyse which off-the-shelf parts are available. The big advantages of off-the-shelf parts are that they have proven themselves, are easy to purchase in low quantities and they don’t require expensive moulds. The big disadvantage is they are easy for your competitors to copy as well. So for example, if you develop a bottle filling machine and you only want that your customers use your bottle, design a bottle that only fits your machine.
Developing a new product is already difficult enough; if new technologies are involved they can delay your manufacturing process later on.
After the initial drawings, we advise to make a prototype as soon as possible. In general, we use our 3D printers for swift, small and cheap prototypes. If the parts are bigger, we use CNC milling. Staring at a 3D model is something completely different than having a mock-up sample in your hands. Normally we make 2 to 5 rapid prototypes before the final design is completed. The cost of adjusting is minimal compared to the cost of adjusting when the product is finished.
After the initial rapid prototypes are tested and analysed, the product engineering can start. During this process we keep the following in mind:
We have internal company policies and we have developed a Secure Production Process SPP™ model to mitigate the risk of IP infringement. For more information, please take a look on the IP Protection section of our website (link).
After the design of the product, we analyse it and check if it is suitable for efficient manufacturing. When you give us your design we will follow these certain steps: