Our design process has been well proven in over 17 years in the business. It allows for a common understanding of the problem to be solved, a clear set of decision points for approval of work, and the appropriate checks to ensure that the design performs as intended prior to production.
These are the steps:
Before we start any design work, we need to understand your requirements, your goals, the constraints and the opportunities. We’ll talk it over with you, ask questions, research precedents and identify applicable technologies.
Informed by a thorough knowledge of the design problem, we can begin the process of imagining how it might be solved. We’ll develop several viable concepts that answer the requirements of the project in different ways. The concepts will not only look great, they’ll also respond to all the project requirements, including budget. Together, we’ll determine which is the best concept to develop further.
Once we’ve agreed on the most promising design direction, we’ll refine it to a higher level of detail resolving all the little details that can make or break a great concept. Using state-of-the-art 3D modelling in Solidworks, we’ll build a digital version of the design, generating photorealistic renderings for review. The same 3D CAD data will be used in subsequent phases, ensuring that design integrity is completely preserved. Where required, we’ll use the CAD data to perform engineering simulations through our Professional Engineer partners to ensure design performance. Throughout the process, we’ll be in touch with our fabrication partners as required to ensure that the design is achievable within the identified budget.
Once the developed design is approved, the 3D data is re-purposed to create design drawings for fabrication of the design and related tooling. Tool paths for CNC machining of parts and tooling, laser or water-jet cutting and flat patterns for metal forming are generated directly from the 3D files.
With very few exceptions, we recommend the production of a prototype prior to production. Using one or more of our specialist fabrication partners, we can arrange for accurate prototyping that will significantly mitigate the risk of unforeseen issues arising later during production. Sometimes we may prototype only the most technically challenging aspects of the design as a cost-saving measure. Should any opportunities for further optimization of the design arise during prototyping, the CAD files and documentation are updated to reflect them.
Our services and support do not end with the hand-off of CAD files and documentation for production. We can assist you in finding the right fabricators/manufacturers for your project, and can act as a liaison that can help you understand the process, resolve issues and to assist with quality control. We can also help with the creation of user manuals, assembly instructions, and packaging where required.
What if I Don’t Need All That?
Absolutely, in some instances you might not. Sometimes we work with clients to optimize existing products, either to reduce costs or improve manufacturability. We also work with clients who have a well-developed idea, and just need help with final design and documentation. Sometimes we’re called on to create convincing renderings to help sell an existing idea to decision-makers. Whatever the level of service you require, please give us a call to discuss your needs. An initial consultation is always free, no obligation. Contact Us