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How a Design Process Helps Inventors Succeed

You have an amazing idea for a new product that you know will be a hit, but you are not quite sure how to design it. This is where following a tried and true design process comes in. Following the design process that is common in the product design engineering field can help you to quickly move through the design phases so you can get your product from concept into production and into the hands of buyers faster. Here’s a look at this process.

Create a Design Brief

A design brief is like your blueprint. It explains what your product idea is, including how it is used and how it may look. It can give the new product development company you choose to work with all the information it needs to develop your idea and create the product you have been imagining in your head. It is essential to share every detail you can think of at this stage, so your product comes out closer to what you have envisioned. Any missing information may lead to re-designs and increased costs down the road.

Create the Specifications List

In addition to the brief, you want a list of the specification of the product. This will include three dimensional sizes, materials, potential colors, functionality and even packaging ideas. These details of the product will provide designers a good idea of what this product really should look like and how you anticipate it will be used.

Design the Product

At this point, you and your engineering design firm will begin the actual mechanical design of the product en-route to developing a 3D model or physical prototype of your product. In the hands of a experienced mechanical engineer with the help of the appropriate CAD software, you may start to discover all the intricacies of developing a new product and any physical limitations your original idea may encounter prior to production.Often there will be adjustments to size, materials and functionality done during this phase of development. This is where you will start to see your new product idea comes to life. The first prototype or 3D model is often generated weeks before any testing takes place and it is our experience that you will have to fine tune your design several times along the way. Be patient with the process.

Test the Product

This step is fairly self-explanatory. It involves testing the prototype you have designed to see if it functions as you imagined it would. It allows you to work out any flaws or issues and identify problems that may need fixed long before signing a production agreement with a vendor. Production costs and materials used in the production process need to be re-evaluated during this testing stage. There must be a return on your investment without sacrificing quality. Most buyers are looking for valuable solutions that solve problems rather than just another widget. So it is important your product is viewed as valuable. Consumer testing and focus groups may be part of this testing phase.

Finalize the Design

After testing, you can then work on the final design. Take a hard look at what you discovered during the testing phase and may the necessary adjustments to the final design that will help your product sell at a fair price, be deemed valuable, be sought after by future buyers and have the longevity to withstand future competition. This is going to be the messaging you present when trying to sell your product to investors or end users.

3D Printing a Final Prototype and Test Again

3D printing and additive manufacturing has come a very long way by 2018. Many of the machines being used for 3D printing today can be used to actually manufacture products on demand using synthetic materials that resemble all types of metals, plastics, stone and other mass produced structural products.

We recommend to many clients that have tapped us as their invention designer in PA to consider additive manufacturing when appropriate for the final prototype. This design process above leverages the best practices of product design engineering that a new product development company must follow when they are involved in the early design stages.

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