What is the Industrial Design Process?

Fine-tuning your understanding of the industrial design process and how it ties into your product development strategies is crucial. Unfortunately, some of the finer details that go into creating product designs can remain a mystery to even the most seasoned engineers or manufacturing project managers. Without the guidance of an experienced team of industrial designers at their disposal, many of these crucial details are regrettably overlooked.

Clarifying the particulars for what you need to know about the industrial design process in best practice can be done by following two key steps. To begin, there are three elemental areas to become well-versed in that will allow you to better grasp some of the unseen or often-missed areas of industrial design. The next step is to seek guidance from an experienced industrial design consultant allowing them to guide you through a closer examination of the overall process.

Drawing up Functionalities is a Building Block of the Design Process

The most important aspect of any design process, including industrial design, is having a comprehensive understanding of what the product will accomplish. This includes any items that help define the basic concept of the product, any relevant customer feedback or research, and emerging industry trends that may have contributed to the inspiration driving this project forward. These will be vital in determining what functionalities and features your product should have.

Your overall design basics will be directly related to those specifications. Diligently crafting a finely-tuned plan around the product and its production will save you time and money down the road. The most important tasks that will give you a broader range of depth and design knowledge for your product are:

  • Utilize design research to understand product marketability, potential competitors, life cycle management, support, and how your product features will operate.
  • Create your “dream” specifications. These are exactly how you envision your product looking and its ability to perform.
  • Conduct a technical review. In this process, you’ll sit down with a team of engineers to put everything together. It is here that design revisions are determined. The results you see in this step will determine if your product moves on to the next stage or needs to be further refined.

Developing your product by determining accurate and realistic specifications before it gets to the drawing board speeds up the overall design process at a reduced cost. Leveraging the skills of an engineering partner will give you an extra set of benefits by reducing your re-designs and accelerate opportunities for effective brainstorming sessions. These combine to deliver your idea to your CAD team in an almost ready for prime time fashion.

Designer drawing an idea-representing, illuminated light bulb

Bringing Your Idea to the Drawing Board

Placing your vision into the hands of a CAD design team is where products begin to come to life. As lines and angles are precisely calculated, so is the overall viability and appeal of a design. It’s in this stage where flaws are first seen from a practical and virtualized point of view, and also one of the easiest and most cost-efficient areas to make adjustments to your vision. This product design stage is especially crucial in terms of team communication and collaboration.

Seeing your potential products in the form of a CAD drawing offers many advantages. The CAD design process allows you to test your product in a safe, virtual environment, and make on-the-fly calculation changes that are not possible in physical prototypes. The CAD environment allows you to run various what-if scenarios in a wide range of simulated environments to optimize your design for its production.

As you can see, getting the most out of a CAD drafting process is a precursor to project success. That is why adding the expertise of an outside CAD drafting team can be especially beneficial. Utilizing external resources gives you a new set of eyes on your project and product simulations based on industry experiences that will ensure you’re sending the best version of a product out for prototyping.

Precision Prototyping Helps to Determine Manufacturing Possibilities

Once you have a fully tested CAD design in hand, the next step is to build a working model of your vision. A long-established standard in design practicality will be your prototypes, which must be built with its specific materials and manufacturing procedures in mind. You must have proper scaling and finishing touches outlined in detail so that your prototype becomes an actualized representation of your quality design.

Obtaining a high degree of accuracy in your prototype makes it imperative to choose the right design partner. As a partner that has been involved in all areas of your design to this point, they will be well-positioned to make prototyping recommendations based on the type of design and product you are looking to create. In this way, you can be confident that the prototypes being created will be accurate and give you results that are provocative to your potential buyers.

Let Our Consultants Drive Your Industrial Design Process

As you step forward with your latest brainchild, the last thing you want is to be told that it’s not possible to achieve. Learning the basics around how the industrial design process works give you the initial set of tools required to ensure that your creation can be brought to life. The other piece of the puzzle is the engagement of a manufacturing design expert that can guide you along your journey to deliver your concept into the hands of waiting customers.

Entering into the world of industrial manufacturing requires that you have the team of engineers that Pacific Research Laboratories can provide. We will breathe life into your inventions by utilizing our technical knowledge and tools in guiding you through the entire design process. Please visit our contact page or call (206) 408-7603  to learn more about the services we provide.