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I met with an entrepreneur last week; he has an idea for a new product and doesn’t quite know how to move forward.

I outlined how to design a profitable product in three steps, and today I’ll share step #2.

Step two is “design for manufacturing”.

I have first to make a confession: industrial designer can have a bad reputation when it comes to their understanding of manufacturing. I remember when I started this meeting with a CEO who walked me to his warehouse just to show me a mould that was “designed by an industrial designer” and that never worked.

Now that “design for functionality” works, we need to link it with manufacturing capabilities. This means exploring manufacturing options, materials, production volumes and finding what is the best fit. On another angle, it also means making sure that:

  • It can be manufactured
  • We can redesign to simplify the parts for manufacturing principles
  • We can redesign to lower the initial investment (such as moulds for injection moulding)
  • When this phase is done properly, it can lead to massive saving in initial investment and costs per parts. Always good for the bottom line!

How do you help your client save money?

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