Iconic graphic designer Paul Rand once said, “design is so simple; that’s why it is so complicated.”
There is great truth in these words. The complexity of the design process should never overshadow its significance.
Design in manufacturing, at its core, is all about bringing solutions to people´s needs at a reasonable cost. When developing new products, it is crucial to have the end user in mind.
When designing products in manufacturing, keeping the product’s design simple and cost effective is essential. Products serve a distinct function and should excel at what they were intended to do and should bring value to customers.
Performance is just as important as simplicity and cost. Customers want to use products that are reliable and simple to use. Famed writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Simplicity is attractive to customers. There is a sense of beauty and elegance in a simplistic design. Especially if it allows the product to perform above expectations in the field.
Design Through the Customer’s Point of View
It is beneficial to think of a product from the customer’s point of view throughout the design process.
What would the ideal customer expect from the product? What design features would help the product perform at its best in the field? What would be the best user experience outcome?
Design products with a consumer mindset and anticipate potential performance problems. Testing a design in a virtual environment should help test its performance in the field before manufacturing. Knowing how the customer is going to use the product allows you to run the appropriate simulations. Depending on the product, designers can perform a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation.
Testing the products under different environments allows designers to perfect their design. Once a virtual design is ready, prototypes can be manufactured with a higher degree of certainty on the desired outcome.
From brainstorming to initial product design, to virtual prototyping, to 3D printing prototypes, always have the customer’s perspective in mind.
Cost Savings and Quality Control Using Virtual Design
Virtual design and simulations play a critical role in manufacturing. Using virtual design allows designers in the mechanical engineering field to create, test and refine products before manufacturing, hence saving costs.
Key applications of virtual simulations and design include:
- Simulation and Analysis: Through computer aided design (CAD) software mechanical engineers can create 2D and 3D digital models of products that can be tested before manufacturing. Using software products engineers can test how products behave under different conditions, such as stress, vibration and thermal impact. Virtual simulations can help identify potential design flaws or problems before manufacturing.
- Rapid Prototyping: Creating rapid prototypes allows designers to test a physical version of their product before moving to full-scale manufacturing. Manufacturing companies can reduce the number of iterations and costs associated with producing a prototype by working on a virtual environment.
- Quality Control: By analyzing the behavior of the part or product in a virtual environment, designers can identify potential performance problems under different scenarios. Correcting such potential flaws before manufacturing saves a substantial amount of time and money. The outcome should be a more reliable final product ready to be tested and perfected in the field.
Servintec USA can perform Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics to help manufacturing companies save time and money.
Servintec USA believes in the significance of innovative and imaginative design. From our world-class manufacturing to our 3D modeling and reverse engineering services, we help companies bring their products to market.