The first step in product development is to fully understand the competition and target market. We provide our clients with a thorough Comparative Product Analysis which provides a wholistic look into the price points, performance, strengths, weaknesses, materials, design and marketing techniques of similar products in the market. Having this insight as we enter into the design phase allows us to zero in on the needs of the market and work towards ideas that truly differentiate from the competition.
industrial design - concept ideation
The design phase is where we begin developing idea sketches that illustrate various concept directions for the new product. The goal here is to get all the ideas out of our heads and onto paper and begin narrowing our focus towards the perfect product direction. During this phase we explore many different ideas and directions while working to find the right balance between product form, materials, functionality, and manufacturing methods. We encourage the client to be heavily involved during this phase so that their input can drive the product success. At the end of this phase there is almost always a clear winner that we can confidently move forward with into engineering.
design engineering - 3d cad modeling
Now that we have a chosen concept direction we can begin to realize the concept into a dimensionally accurate 3D model. This model is used to create photorealistic renderings for show and tell, and to develop the mechanical and manufacturing engineering details. These 3D files are used to create manufacturing drawings and to build the first physical prototypes. Often times this phase is repeated after the alpha prototype is made to make small changes, dial in the mechanics, fit, and finish before heading to production.
Using the 3D files created in the engineering phase, we can begin to explore which prototyping method is best suited for your project. There are many avenues to explore during this phase with each project having a different end goal for prototyping. Prototyping can be expensive; we guide our clients through this phase and make sure we find the right balance between budget-friendly prototyping and delivering a useful service that allows the client to fully understand the intricacies of the product before placing large production orders. We offer our clients the following services for prototyping (we'll help you choose):
- 3D Printing (SLA, FDM, SLS)
- CNC Machining (Metals, Plastics, Composites)
- Sewing & Pattern Making for Soft Goods
- Laser & Waterjet Cutting
- Sheetmetal Forming & Fabrication
- Vacuum Cast Urethane
- Cut & Paste Model Making