Design Considerations

7 Things that you should consider when designing a new product.

Designing a new product is always exciting and fraught with anxiety. Marketing worries about how this new product will fit with the marketplace, and with the competition. Sales worry about the price and how their clients will accept the new design. Just see the customer reaction, or worse, critics reactions and the internet blogging when Apple or Blackberry brings out a new design.

Accounting worries about the budget, and production worries about how will this be made.

Engineering of course, worries about functionality and reliability. They also worry about safety… a lot.

What does a good designer worry about?

A good designer is concerned with coming up with a fresh approach that will be accepted by a committee. Now that is a challenge.

Design, by its very nature, causes the designer to invest heavily with the design concept, appearance and attributes. This is a work of art, blended with science and economics.

Here are 7 items that must be considered when designing a new product, or even redesigning an existing product:

1. Design for Use
What is the purpose of the design change? Why are we doing this, and what is the goal of making the change, what else may be affected by this change?  In this respect, the aesthetics of the design must also be considered.

2. Design for Manufacturing
What materials are going to be incorporated in the design? The choice of materials limits the manufacturing process, possible shapes, durability, texture and touch, thermal transference, suitable environments, mass (weight,) colour if imbedded. How is this going to be made? Machining, casting, injection molding, sheet metal fabrication, carving, there are lots of materials and methods that should be considered.

3. Design for Simplification
Can some of the parts be made in one piece? Are all of the parts necessary? Can fasteners be replaced with snap together features?

4. Design for Assembly

Are the parts made so that parts can’t be assembled incorrectly, or out of order? Can they be easily put together with the minimum of skill and alignment effort?

5. Design for Economy
If the design were changed would it be more economical, even if there isn’t in house manufacturing capability?

6. Design for Reliability
Will the design be robust, and capable of withstanding the rigours of the intended use?

7. Design for End of Life
What will happen at the end of the product’s life? Will it easily be separated into material salvage streams? Will there be an environmental problem? Can the materials be changed so that the product is simpler to recycle or reuse?
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are lots of other things that could be added to this list. If you would like to learn more about this, call us at 905 430 7628. We will be waiting for you.

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