If your business is a product based business you’ll know how important it is to not only get the product design right, but to then get it properly machined and developed. You’ve likely spent a lot of time doing customer research and finding the perfect product to launch with. Taking a raw idea right the way through to something you can feel and touch is pretty special, but there are a few extra steps you can take to make sure you get everything right the first time around. Mistakes can be expensive and if you’re a newer business, this can be deadly.
Get Your CAD Design Right
If you’re sending your product off to a manufacturer or a machining shop you need to ensure that the design is right in the first place. CAD is used quite widely in the USA, with about 13% market share after Solidworks and Autodesk. CAD is used to create components and products, the file is then forwarded to the manufacturer so that they can create your design. However, CAD can be tricky. You need to make sure you get it all right, otherwise there can be mistakes and snags in the final product. Some good development shops will catch these and let you know, but others might go ahead and bill you anyway. So, triple check your CAD design. Here are some tips:
- Have a CAD expert check over the design before you send it off
- See if you can draw up a prototype outside of CAD to test the theory
- Create the same design again, from scratch, in CAD, to see if you come to the same result
- Always take time away from your design before coming back to it and sending it off
Find A Reputable Machine Shop
Finding a machine shop to create your CAD design is both easy and hard. It’s easy, because all you have to do is search for a machine shop and a bunch of local and international ones will come up. It’s hard because you need to find a reputable one that’s proficient in using the materials required. To make sure you find a good machine shop make sure you draw up a list of contenders. These can be companies that offer 3D printing services en mass or potentially smaller machine shops that only focus on certain materials.
Consider ordering a small amount first to assess the quality of the workmanship. It might be worth checking whether the company offers small batch machining as well as rapid prototyping to ensure you can get a small batch delivered quickly. If these all work out, and they’re the kind of quality that you’d expect you can start bulk ordering and move to fulfillment.
Act On Feedback
When a lot of people get their hands on your product it’s likely that you’ll receive feedback on it. You probably had smaller feedback sessions before getting your product mass produced, but with a wider pool of users you’ll have more to utilize. Always act on the feedback you get. Just send the information to your machine shop and they should be able to tweak and change the product where necessary.
Acting on feedback shows your customers that you listen to their thoughts and value their custom. It can be hard knowing which feedback to listen to, and which feedback to ignore. Go with the crowd.