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Industrial design

The product and industrial design process is a journey during which visual concepts are born out of shared ideas. The selected design receives its final form and is further developed mechanically. Prototypes are created and continuously refined before preparing the product for production.

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The process begins with either a brief of a project’s scope or a client's need for us to help prepare one. Either way our first steps are brainstorming and extensive interviews which help us gather as much data as we need to judge the scope of our work and to prepare cost and timeline estimates.

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TASKS:

  • KICKOFF meeting/workshops.
  • Collecting information/materials about the project (references, CAD files, inspiration).
  • Asking our partner for a set of mood boards.
  • Determining the functionality of the product in relation to the end user.
  • Determining the expected technology readiness level (TRL).
  • Determining the desired product aesthetics.
  • Confirming the project assumptions vs the initial assumptions (project specification).
  • Initial market research & competition analysis (8-40h).

End Result: a comprehensible project brief for our designers.

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TASKS:

  • Analysis of existing products, technologies & mechanical challenges.
  • Designers are seeking additional information.
  • Searching for correct shapes through sketches, 3D models, foam, clay models etc.
  • Selecting the most promising concepts for further work.
  • The project manager creates a check-list with needed product functions.
  • Initial assumption concerning production technology.
  • Modelling visual concepts in Solidworks.
  • Optional - prototyping (verifying size factor, texture, non-mechanical assumptions etc).

Preparation for the presentation:

  • Discussing final concepts with the project manager.
  • Preparing scenes and model textures for rendering.
  • Rendering photorealistic graphics for presentation purposes.
  • Initial description of individual parts and production methods.
  • Preparing dimensional drawings of the concepts.
  • Dimensional drawings.

End result: 3-4 product concepts in presentation format.

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TASKS:

  • Conference call.
  • Partner's email confirming selected concept for further development.
  • Partner's email confirming aesthetical feedback (if any).
  • Conforming the list of aesthetical changes by the project manager.
  • Preparing revision time estimation.
  • Revising the selected concept based on customer feedback (close email contact).
  • Conference call going over the revised changes.
  • Number of revisions: 2
  • Optional - prototyping (verifying size factor, texture, non-mechanical assumptions etc).

End result: final product visualisations of the selected concept in presentation format:

  • transfer of ownership rights
  • high resolution renders
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TASKS:

  • Meeting with the partner: explaining & defining the required steps needed in this phase.
  • Creating a list of tasks involving mechanical parts, mechanisms, and other features to be created.
  • Agreeing with the partner on the possible number of revisions. 
  • Determining partner’s manufacturing capabilities. 
  • Specifying time estimation needed for the first mechanical model. 
  • Confirming the list of tasks & time estimation with the partner. 
  • Confirming/determining the expected end result (3D model, flat documentation, prototype?).
  • Identifying materials and components data sheets needed to create the first mechanical model.

Design & mechanical activities:

  • Developing the first mechanical model.
  • Research and technology consultancy.
  • Testing and collecting feedback from the partner.
  • Creating a list of changes to be made in version 2.
  • Creating another mechanical model.
    Testing and collecting feedback from the client.
  • Completing the agreed documentation.
    Transferring materials to the partner.

End result: mechanically correct model in Solidworks + optional prototyping.

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TASKS:

  • Meeting with the partner - initiating the phase.
  • Agreeing with the partner on the list of tasks - manufacturing decisions of individual elements.
  • Finding the most suited subcontracts for the project and consulting on the needed work. 
  • Adapting the project to the realities of manufacturing under the recommendations of the selected manufacturer.
  • Creating a final material strategy adapted to the manufacturing method.
  • Estimating production costs.
  • Selecting the best manufacturing technology for individual components.

End result: selected manufacturing technologies & creation of BOM (bills of materials).

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This phase progresses differently depending on the project - it requires further defining with the partner:

OPTION 1 - Production supervision or high volume prototyping:

  • Selecting the most suited manufacturers for the project.
  • Consulting with manufacturers/subcontractors.
  • Overlooking the production on behalf of our partner.

OPTION 2 - High volume prototyping:

  • Using the material strategy created at the DFM phase, the client's guidelines and the knowledge of our engineers, we create and propose a time estimate and production costing.
  • Planning of production stages and material deliveries.
  • Determining the form of the prototypes delivered at the end of the phase (semi-finished products, products before or after assembling).
  • Confirming cost estimates with the client.
    Meeting with the internal VC (vacuum casting) department - determining the materials, quantity and quality of needed master models. Additional Q + A meeting.
  • The project manager works closely with the VC department to support the logistics of materials & components.
  • Supporting the VC department at the junction between production and design.
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The final stage is a store shelf ready product. If a project makes it to this stage we often assist our clients with preparing iterations of the design for consecutive production batches.

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The Industrial Design team consists of several engineers with an artistic spirit and artists who could be engineers.

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