Product Design Collaboration Leads to Crowdfunding Success

August 31, 2015
3D Innovations

2.pjacksonCrowdfunding has fundamentally changed the way we develop and launch products. Individuals now have the power to obtain funding and commercialize an idea in less time. However, like any endeavor, unexpected challenges arise and it is necessary to be prepared.

From our experience, having a Product Design firm involved with the design process earlier in the campaign, or if possible, prior to launching will help crowdfunding companies establish themselves and their products. Entrepreneurs do not want to find themselves in the position of raising the necessary capital through crowdfunding, but then having no idea where to actually begin. A Product Design firm can negate this and make sure you are adequately prepared for what lies ahead.

What to expect… An engineering partner will properly test and validate the design, evaluate the sustainability of the design and make sure the product can be successfully manufactured. Also, they will be able to assist with not only developing the idea, but developing an entire project plan, from design to prototyping and manufacturing. From there, the Product Design firm can assist with additional design factors that make assembly and packaging more efficient — resulting in cost savings. It all boils down to showing the crowdfunding community that you are prepared and committed to the successful launch of your product.

Below are three additional reasons to choose an engineering partner for your next crowdfunding campaign…

Proper Product Development Procedures

There needs to be a synergistic approach to the product development process, allowing the entrepreneur to provide feedback while the engineering partner ensures that the design meets manufacturing requirements. Engineers will be able to develop and update the product design models and provide prototypes reflecting design changes for testing and validation purposes.

Managing Supply Chains

Managing supply chains is a critical factor. A lot of crowdfunding companies who have raised capital and need to move into the manufacturing process are not aware of the many pitfalls that can arise, and experience delays in fulfilling their orders because they lack the knowledge and experience in working with manufacturers — who are often overseas. Many entrepreneurs often rely on the first (and only) manufacturer that they meet, and fail to fully evaluate other manufacturing companies. A Product Design firm has the knowledge and experience to connect you with reputable supply chain partners.

Increased Focus on Core Activities

With an engineering team focusing on the design and development of the product, more focus can be given to other areas of the business. The current team can concentrate on marketing, business development and all other areas necessary to build a successful business brand.

Collaboration with a Product Design firm can help you successfully develop and commercialize your next great product idea.

Have additional questions about product development or would like to know more about partnering with us on a project? Please e-mail your questions to us at info@3d-innovations.com

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Product of the Week: Coolmore Desktop Air Cooler

August 28, 2015
3D Innovations

coolmoreRunning the air conditioner in your home keeps the temperature low, but your electric bill skyrockets. The Coolmore is a portable and eco-friendly air cooler, cooler and fan that can drastically cool down small areas. Many people find that they don’t need to cool down their entire home to feel comfortable, but instead just the area they are in (bedroom, desk, couch). The intent of Coolmore is not to replace AC, instead it is designed to assist AC and boost its performance while keeping your home cool and saving on your electric bill. “The less the AC works, the less it consumes energy and therefore costs less money and produces less carbon.”

The Coolmore’s sophisticated design blends seamlessly into your home decor. While traditional fans and air coolers are functional, they are not aesthetically pleasing and hard to move from room-to-room. The Coolmore is designed to look like a small speaker and is small enough to fit comfortably on your work desk or a nightstand. Also, the Coolmore is powered through USB, so you are not tied to a traditional outlet to operate it. With such thoughtful product design, it is easy to see why this product has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal.

Learn more about Coolmore on Kickstarter or the company website.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Prototype Development Using 3D Printing Technology [Case Study]

August 21, 2015
3D Innovations

CASE STUDY

The Challenge: Develop Functional Prototypes To Mimic A Molded Part

Our customer required Product Development support for a new product that was to be introduced to the market.  Similar products were thermoformed to produce the commercial products, but as with any new product being developed, avoiding any type of tooling was going to accelerate the design and prototyping processes.

Thermoforming is a process of taking thin sheets of plastic material, typically High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), (PET), or Polypropylene (PP) that is heated and formed over a mold.  Producing the mold can be costly and would only be done to produce the final parts.

This project required creating a new design and also a prototype. Walls were .018” – .022” thick making the process of 3D Printing the part successfully very challenging due to the wall thickness.  Most process can accommodate features greater than .020” thick.  The design required the part to maintain this thin wall so that it would function properly.  As with any design, the challenge is not only designing to work properly, but being able to functionally test it.

thermoformOther prototype development methods were explored to produce these prototypes, but machining this type of part would not only be very costly, but also difficult due to its geometry and thin walls.

Using a relatively inexpensive 3D Printing process, we were able to successfully develop functional prototypes that were then used for testing.

In the end, a successful set of prototypes were built and delivered to the customer for review and testing before moving into the production manufacturing stage.

The costs for several sets of prototypes were approximately 600% less versus the cost of using a machining process.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

3D CAD Speeds Up Product Development

August 18, 2015
3D Innovations

“Innovation” has been a popular buzzword in the last few years, especially when it relates to technology, with each new innovation promising more than the last. But there are many steps between an initial product idea and a truly innovative new product. For most, the first step in the quest to produce the next big innovation is building a digital design of the product idea using 3D CAD.

Product Design and Development | 3D PrototypingEngineers are increasingly using 3D CAD to develop product designs and models, visualizing concepts, exploring new design ideas, and simulating how a design will perform in the real world. Whether the design is a corporate building, an automotive part, or an innovative consumer product, 3D CAD has become an early critical step of the design process.

For entrepreneurs and inventors, 3D digital designs of ideas and inventions save both time and resources, since 3D CAD can be used to initially test product design theories and understand all of their aspects without the need for building actual prototypes. Even though prototyping costs are decreasing, due partly to additive manufacturing (3D printing), it is best to develop a 3D digital design before producing a prototype.

Demand for 3D Digital Designs Is Rising

3D digital design is on the rise, driven in part by entrepreneurs with the need to communicate their product concepts clearly with potential investors. Whether the audience is an investment firm or a crowdfunding platform, digital designs allow stakeholders to visualize concepts and provide feedback and modification ideas. Multi-platform collaboration is extending to investors, part suppliers, and other product development team members, as the digital designs are used congruently to develop marketing materials, packaging, and customer demonstrations.

Design validation is a critical step in the product development process. Until it is tested, a virtual design is merely a theoretical assumption. So it is not to say that 3D digital design is meant to replace physical prototyping, but it is bringing advantages throughout the design workflow that include computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools for virtual simulation/testing, using the same data as for physical prototyping. Files can be exported into various formats that CNC machines and 3D printers can utilize for production.

Within the enterprise system, a physical prototype has many advantages over CFD simulations and should not be replaced; rather 3D digital mockups and physical prototypes should be jointly integrated in the product development process. In the testing phase, a prototype should serve to validate the product’s form, fit, and function, as well as mechanical and thermal properties. Existing workflows will maintain multiple iterations of digital design and physical prototyping to get new products to a manufacturing-ready state.

Manufacturers around the world have adopted common practices and standards that rely on the use of digital design files for their production processes. This adoption of using digital designs for their downstream applications eliminates operator error, increases productivity, and allows for more competitiveness in the marketplace. Digital design, paired with design automation practices, ultimately leads to higher efficiency and increased communication between the customer and the manufacturer.

Product Commercialization

While direct focus of 3D digital design is on product manufacturing, marketing teams will be using these same designs to create photo renderings and produce distinctive packaging designs and design demonstrations for early investors. Digital design is speeding up the marketing development process as a way to reduce total development time and quickly get products to market and, in turn, consumers. Working congruently in this manner, across departments, keeps the commercialization timeline on track.

Getting a project started out on the “right foot” with 3D digital designs will minimize challenges and complications later on in the design cycle, which is why organizations are increasingly adopting them. While the benefits of 3D CAD might seem obvious during the design phase of the product development lifecycle, the real benefits extend far beyond this and into prototyping, manufacturing, and even the commercialization phase.

Note: We (3D Innovations LLC) published this article on the Design News website in June 2015.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Product of the Week: The BumBee Seat

August 14, 2015
3D Innovations

The flexible and fun design of the BumBee Seat makes it an ideal companion for your summer activities. This recreational utility seat is the brainchild of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and seamlessly blends functionality and creativity. “The ‘BumBee Seat’ is a fun new product design that is the ultimate seating gadget on wheels for your garden, office and home.”

bumbeeWhether you spend the long days of summer tending to your garden or are hard at work restoring a car in your garage, the BumBee Seat is designed to ease the tension on your back and knees. The BumBee Seat features…

  • Comfortable memory foam seat and wings for your things (drinks, snacks, products, tools, gloves and smart phone).
  • Patented adjustable RUSS (recreational utility seat system) folding leg strut design. Use the BumBee Seat in the up position or fold flat for low level use or easy transport or storage.
  • Four wheels that include locking brakes makes the seat both safe and stable.
  • Weighs only 19 pounds and easily folds flat and can be stored in the trunk of your car for your on the go adventures.

The multi-faceted design and attention to detail are just a couple reasons why the BumBee Seat Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its original funding goal. Learn more about the BumBee Seat and check out videos of it in action on Kickstarter.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

 

3D Printing is Shaking Up the Manufacturing Industry

August 7, 2015
3D Innovations

prototype-3d-printing-innovations-1003D printing is a technology that has been around for some time, but, within the last few years, its popularity has picked up steam and is now completely revolutionizing the way business is conducted. The technology itself has advanced, and with this advancement, the financial barrier to entry has dropped considerably; making it possible for businesses and even individuals to harness the benefits of 3D printing production. While 3D printing continues to be the playground for the maker community, it’s also branching into industrial manufacturing.

3D production of functional end-use parts is already one of the fastest growing areas in the manufacturing sector. In 2014, a PWC survey found that 11% of manufacturing companies had already switched to volume production of 3D printed parts or products. It is no secret that 3D printing is shaking up global manufacturing; below are seven ways the technology is asserting its influence…

  1. True Rapid Prototyping. The product development cycle has been shortened from months or weeks to mere days. Multiple design updates no longer hinder the development timeline, but instead can be accommodated for in a short period of time, thus delivering the final product to market faster.
  2. Rapid Design Iteration (A/B testing of physical products). 3D printing has gone beyond prototyping and into first-run production, allowing for market testing and rapid design iteration. Engineers are able to explore and test a variety of designs before finalizing for manufacturing.
  3. Low volume production. Companies are no longer burdened with high costs when they are producing small amounts of a product. For production runs of less than 1,000, many companies are considering 3D production as a cost-effective alternative.
  4. Mass Customization. Customers want customization and 3D printing can provide it. The days of “one-size-fits-all” is quickly fading away, and making room for personal product customization.
  5. Virtual Inventory. With 3D printing production, a company only makes what it needs at a given time, thus eliminating warehousing and other costs associated with storing large product quantities. Virtual inventory improves the efficiency of every business that uses anything manufactured. Inventories around the world will soon shrink dramatically as virtual inventory goes mainstream.
  6. The Long Tail of Parts. 3D printing is changing the way designers and engineers plan for the end of a product’s life cycle. With 3D production, you now have the long tail of parts. Hold on to the digital design files, and you can print any part for as long as it is needed.
  7. Product Innovation Renaissance. 3D printing’s lower barriers to entry and ability to produce radically more complex objects is changing the way we think and design products. The door of innovation is wide open. Harvard Business Review recently published a piece, 3D Printing Is Changing the Way We Think, and we could not agree more. A new realm of design possibilities is going to eventually make companies rethink the design of nearly all of their products.

3D printing technology is revolutionizing business and we are just skimming the surface of the sweeping changes to come.

Have questions about 3D printing? Please feel free to e-mail us at info@3d-innovations.com

Referenced Source: 7 Ways 3D Printing Is Already Disrupting Global Manufacturing, Forbes

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Product of the Week: Lumenati Cinematic Smartcase

August 5, 2015
3D Innovations

The Lumenati Cinematic Smartcase (CS1) is putting a modern twist on an old classic. Utilizing exemplary product design, coupled with digital technology and the ease of a lo-fi classic camera, the Lumenati CS1 takes your film making to the next level. The CS1 quickly transforms your iPhone into a full fledged camera that is easy to hold and ergonomically correct. “Cinematographers simply pop their device into the Lumenati CS1 just as grandpa would load an 8mm film cartridge. The lightweight, portable unit allows anyone to frame and film a steady, stable shot with the pull of an intuitive trigger.”

While the Lumenati CS1 makes shooting film a breeze, it goes a step further and simplifies the entire editing process through the Lumenati app. From the app you can edit your film and then quickly upload it to your social media communities.

product design cs1Features of the Lumenati CS1…

  • Well designed ergonomics for a steady shot.
  • Simple, intuitive trigger. No more missing the shot.
  • Cold shoe to add mics, light, handles and accessories.
  • Focusing eyepiece that delivers in bright/low light.
  • Swap 58mm lenses. Wide, fisheye and telephoto.
  • App allows for manual control of exposure and focus.

Filming and editing videos has never been this easy. The Lumenati CS1 is making quite a splash on Kickstarter and it’s easy to see why. The fantastic design of this device along with its very reasonable price point  makes this a great gift for the cinematographer in your life.

Learn more about the Lumenati Cinematic Smartcase on Kickstarter and the official website.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Product of the Week: Bevel 3D Photography

July 31, 2015
3D Innovations

Sharing photos on social media has become a large part of our everyday lives. Whether it’s to capture a special moment or share a fantastic meal with our online community, we are hooked on sharing our photography. The Bevel 3D wants to take your photos to new heights by making them truly three-dimensional. “Bevel is the world’s first attachment capable of capturing real 3D photographs on any smartphone or tablet. You can even use Bevel for 3D printing.”

Lifestyle1With Bevel, you can capture an experience in a revolutionary way and share it across all of your personal networks. We see 3D scanning being put to use everyday to help capture product images and recreate artifacts, but not at this kind of personal level. Bevel is a mere 2.5 inches long and simply connects through the headphone jack of your smartphone or tablet. “The photos can be rotated, turned into animated GIFs and viewed from multiple angles. You can also add an image of the background behind the 3D photo.” The creative touches you would be able to put on your photos are virtually endless. 3D photography is certainly a disruptive technology but having the ability to easily capture and share moments in this new way provides an array of new opportunities.

As an engineering firm, we are delighted to see that Bevel can be used for 3D printing purposes. From a business perspective, having 3D scanning technology accessible through a phone or tablet would be very convenient throughout the entire product development process.

Learn more about Bevel on Kickstarter and the official website.

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Product of the Week: StemBox

July 24, 2015
3D Innovations

It is well-known that there is a major gap in our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education pipeline and that nearly 40% of companies report difficulty in filling positions because of a lack of STEM skills*. With the ever increasing demand for STEM skills, it is imperative that we spark a love of STEM education in our students early-on. Fostering interest in STEM related subjects at an early age encourages students to explore these types of careers as they progress through school. The best and most effective way of getting our students interested in STEM is through real world, hands-on learning.

stemboxThis week we are featuring StemBox, “a subscription box that makes real science accessible to young girls and empowers them as young scientists”. StemBox sends out boxes full of all the necessary equipment to conduct real-world science experiments. “Each box contains sophisticated labware and reagents for the science experiment, a protocol, fun science accessories, and a link to our corresponding videos. Our educational videos feature in-depth explanation from a real female role model working in that box’s field.” On the StemBox Kickstarter page you can view their “Strawberry DNA Extraction Box” and the “Owl Pellet Dissection Box”, both of these boxes encourage young girls to get out and explore the world around them. We also see that there is a future engineering kit in the works!

It has been proven that students learn more and retain information when they are able to participate in activities. Having these StemBoxes tailor-made for age level and interests is a fantastic way to make subjects come alive for students.

Learn more about the StemBox on Kickstarter and the official website!

*Source: Bridging the STEM Attraction Gap by National 4-H Council

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Functional Prototypes are Critical for Success

July 23, 2015
3D Innovations

The ability to effectively communicate your idea with a functional prototype is one of the many benefits of prototyping. Whether your goal is to find investors or patent your idea, a prototype shows that you have tested your design, finalized your product and are ready for the next step.

Still asking yourself, “Should I prototype my idea?” consider the following factors…

3D Printing Services | Rapid Prototyping Services | 3D-innovationsTest the Design & Finalize the Product

3D modeling is a great tool for conceptualizing and structuring your idea, but there is no substitute for a functional prototype. A prototype allows you to fully test the design, try out different materials, and really dive in to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Before you head out to launch your product or obtain funding you want to be sure that your product is feasible and can be successfully manufactured.

Gaining Investors

Whether you are preparing a professional presentation for angel investors or planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign, a prototype is necessary. Investors want to see that you have vetted the design and have worked out all of the “kinks”. To gain the trust of investors you want to present your product in the most comprehensive way possible. While a presentation is good, a functional prototype makes you stand out in the crowd and shows that you are committed to the successful launch of your product. Additionally, crowdfunding campaigns rely heavily on descriptive videos and nothing is more descriptive than showing the complete functionality and capabilities of your product.

Team Collaboration

Illustrating an idea with words alone can be a challenge for even the most descriptive orator. 3D CAD designs help clarify aspects of the product for team members, but a prototype brings the idea to life. When team members get to feel the product and test it themselves it is no longer an obscure idea but a tangible one that they can work with.

Patent Application

For many inventors the thought of a patent application can be daunting. While a prototype is not required for a patent application it is highly encouraged by many patent attorneys. With a prototype you can clearly demonstrate the patentable features of the design and describe in detail each component of your product.

The prototyping process should not be overlooked or underestimated. This step in the product development timeline is a critical factor for future success.

Have further questions about prototypes or the prototyping process? Please contact us at info@3d-innovations.com

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Follow us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today