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Our goal in this phase is to analyze, define, explore and seamlessly connect the areas of engineering, human interface, aesthetics, manufacturing and proposed marketing features into a philosophy that will create an environment for success.
Study methods for harmonizing and integrating philosophies, goals, questions and methods.
It is SolidMasters recommendation that this phase serve to investigate and analyze the impact of all these project areas. The result will yield a well-organized direction with defined milestones for the ensuing product development phases.
In a meeting with SolidMasters a report will be reviewed to document and specify project goals development schedule and design methodology.
This phase will serve as an overall goal synopsis to allow refinement of these following points from a conceptual design (Phase II) to a sophisticated engineered product (Phase VII). Our main goal is to explore a range of
logical design solutions that assess the “CONCEPTUAL SOLUTION” goals as well as with the following design points.
SolidMasters additional goal in this phase is to generate the basis for development of the visual and family line identity for the client with the most innovative engineering and best aesthetic design.
Inexpensive tooling and part design.Choose most inexpensive combination of production processes. Minimize assembly time and additional parts.
COROPORATE IMAGE- FAMILY OF SHAPES- GRAPHICS, GOALS
The client’s logo and corporate colors should be displayed in a manner that is unique and attractive.vThis new product image may be very important because it will be the cornerstone on which future products may be based. It will allow us to gain a perspective of the family line identity for new products.
Our goal will be to complete a design that has “High Perceived Quality” look in terms of detailing and image. An award winning design!
In a meeting at Patton Design, we will present color sketches, foam models and preliminary CAD layouts highlighting this exploration. Our goal for the meeting is to choose the best combination of ideas to integrate into a refined concept in Phase III.
Where Phase II was a broad focus, encompassing the full range of potential ideas, Phase III narrows its focus to only the ideas selected at the end of Phase II. Our goal is to condense the best ideas into two concepts. Our first step is to refine loosely defined Phase II detailing into photo realistic renderings. We will simultaneously begin full size design layouts using our CAD System to resolve basic part inter fit problems, assembly, and manufacturing questions.
We will meet at SolidMasters or the client’s office to review the design direction before beginning the next phase of work.
AESTHETIC SPECIFICATION DRAWINGS FOR THE VISUAL MOCK-UPS
SolidMasters will produce a complete package of drawings used to construct the visual mock-ups. In addition, this documentation will serve as a reference for SolidMasters in the actual design-engineering phase.
We will meet with potential manufacturers to gain the best possible tool and part cost before the client makes a major budgetary commitment for engineering. Additionally, this will assure our aesthetic design meets stringent quality control requirements.
SolidMasters will meet with you to discuss potential refinements for the next phase of work.
PHASE IV- B
VISUAL/HUMAN FACTORS MOCK-UP
The approved designs from Phase III will be taken from preliminary engineering drawings to a full size, three-dimensional mock-up. Any other refinements discussed in the previous meeting will also be incorporated in the aesthetic specification drawings.
This economical 3-D translation of our drawings will serve several purposes.
It will validate human factor and human interface studies. Provide a basis for generating engineering documentation. Permit finalization of color scheme, logo placement, and other aesthetic details.
It can be shown to associates and perspective buyers. In a meeting at Patton Design, we will review the design for implementation in the next phase of work.
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND FOCUS GROUP STUDY
In this phase, SolidMasters will take the design proposals, created from Phase IV B. This could range from photographically realistic models to simple ergonomic studies of foam models or renderings. In some cases it could even be prototype user interface software, which is used in conjunction with the visual mock-ups. There will be a questionnaire created after an interview with all the interested parties from our clients. This will be tabulated, along with SolidMasters information for review before the focus group begins. Important data will be created if it does not exist or used from the client, based on proposed users, demographics and psychographics. Once this is obtained, there will be respondents identified and a focus group set up. Typically, this includes a moderator interviewing and conducting the focus group procedure. It will be done in a special environment, such that there can be a two-way mirror, so that our client’s can review the process. In addition, a video log will be created for review by other interested parties. Based upon this process, it is typical to utilize 10-12 respondents to get the required information. A top line report will be available within days after the focus group and a tabulated and formalized document typically requires 2-4 weeks to organize. With all focus groups, they are specific to the project and before the budget and process is finalized, this specific focus group report will be submitted for review.
PROTOTYPE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING DRAWINGS
In this phase, we will finalize the engineering design. We work closely with the clients own engineering staff to develop drawings to a high degree allowing for a quick and efficient prototyping process. Additionally, the drawings, which will be generated on 3D CAD, can be later updated and modified for the final production drawings to give to intended vendors.
Our package of engineering drawings will include full assembly view documents generated from the actual part drawings. In this way, we will be able to test true inter component fit and detect any possible dimensional mistakes, which will save additional time in the prototyping process.
The mechanical design will reflect a high precision of inter component fit as well as simplicity of assembly. These considerations, properly applied, will result in an increased profit margin per product.
Reduced tooling costs.
Reduced part costs.
Reduced assembly costs.
At this time we would like to be sure SolidMasters drafting standards are appropriate with the client’s drafting standards to assure none or minimal rework for use as permanent part drawing documentation.
In this phase, a full working prototype will be constructed from actual production materials corresponding to the production process most preferred.
TESTING AND EVALUATION
The primary reason for prototyping is to test and evaluate the engineering design before investing in expensive tooling.
A final fully functioning prototype and test evaluation report will be delivered for review and evaluation.
RTV TOOLS (if required)
SolidMasters will create RTV tools from our prototype pattern parts. These tools are guaranteed for at least twenty parts before failure. [Often these tools will last up to thirty-five parts.] They will yield dimensionally perfect reproductions from the pattern parts.
MOLDING OF PARTS (if required)
SolidMasters will mold parts in whatever minimal quantity required. Since the client’s volume might be quite low, it may prove beneficial to have SolidMasters oversee quality control and handle documentation. SolidMasters has done this on several occasions for corporations such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric and Apple Computer.
PHASE VI- D
MANUFACTURING FOR ALPHA BUILD (if required)
In this phase SolidMasters will assemble a range of prototypes that can be used for additional testing and marketing purposes. SolidMasters has the capability to create very realistic prototypes that stimulate actual production products. Typically this is a very important phase of work due to the need of multiple products at this stage of development. The scheduling can be extremely fast pace which is typically less than four weeks.
FINAL PRODUCTION PART DRAWINGS
The final engineering phase is perhaps the most important step in the evolution of a product. We will first meet with the client at the end of our test / evaluation of the prototype design. On the basis of changes or refinements required, we will begin our final production drawings.
Though the drawings, which led to the prototype, have been as accurate as possible, a number of design developments and refinements are likely to result from this analysis. These changes must be recorded in our engineering documentation before final production commences.
The continuing maintenance of our documentation will facilitate production by clarifying the drawings, identifying errors, and ensuring better inter component fit. In addition, these drawings will reflect production consultation with the intended vendor.
Provided in this phase is a complete package of documentation generated on CAD denoting all tolerances, inter component fit, production requirements and engineering specifications.
PRODUCTION MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING and MANAGEMENT
SolidMasters has experience with many vendors. We will choose the better of two or three and obtain competitive bids to further reduce tooling and part costs. SolidMasters will deliver a full report on tooling, fabrication methodology and assembly procedures.
The final production engineering will consist of a complete and tested documentation package of drawings that can be used to manufacture and assemble the engineered product. In addition, the process of our engineering includes not only quality testing but “cost engineering” for the lowest product cost and the most durable design.
In this phase SolidMasters will manage the tooling on a weekly basis giving client status updates on completion. In addition SolidMasters will review first article and make modifications to our engineering drawings for before final production will commence.
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