Project Life Cycle
An abstract visual representation of the peaks and valley's between Clarity and Uncertainty in each phase of a typical project and how phases can overlap.
Design Process Flow chart
This flow chart shows a high level view of our Design Process, it shows progression through steps, follow green arrows. This chart also shows regression through steps, as failures occur (learning) and sometimes this causes the project to take a step backwards to mitigate risk for project success. As the chart shows this happens mostly through the Research - V&V steps.
Design Process Stages
Below is a brief overview of each stage in our typical Design Process. This process expands or contracts depending on each project and client needs.
Every project begins with an idea. With this idea you need a plan to reach an end; usually this is launching your product to market. This stage transfers an idea into a project. During this launch, it is very important to record as much information as possible. This is where Product Design Requirements are recorded and tracked.
Each project requires research, this is one of the most important steps of the Design Process. This will minimize risk, streamline project development and set a trajectory for the evolution and commercialization of the project. Typically this stage will help define the Product Design Requirements. Research can be focused on many different aspects, some of which might be the competitive landscape of products, target market, projected annual volumes, key stake holders, demographics, ergonomic considerations, physical dimensions, outer envelope, brand building or brand alignment, user experience, user interface, internal components, OEM parts, manufacturing processes, manufacturing suppliers, assembly, packaging, sales, marketing, distribution channels and the list goes on and on. Every project has different research problems, the key is to figure these out as soon as possible, and get as much usable information as possible to ensure the success of your project. All of this information is recorded in one central location for easy access for team members to circle back to review and analyze.
This is where the magic happens, and is the most fun part of the Design Process. This is where we develop visual concepts of the project. The conceptualize process is further broken down into design phases.
Phase 1 - Early Concept Generation
We typically propose a minimum of 3 concept directions in a 2D digital presentation for client review. We might also build some sketch models to validate sizes, ergonomics, user experience, user interface and many other important aspects that influence the design. Early concept generation ends with an approval of concept direction from our client to further refine.
Phase 2 - Concept Refinement
Here we take the approved concept direction and further refine the architecture. Part separations, manufacturing process and materials are established. High level Design for Manufacturing considerations are implemented into geometry so that parts will not have to be re-drawn in later stages. At the end of this phase we will have a 3D model that has enough features and detail for prototyping. Internal details are usually not implemented at this stage.
Phase 3 - Alpha Prototype
Once we have approval from Phase 2, we will prototype the design in full scale. There are many different methods we use for prototyping. Depending on the project, we will suggest the most appropriate technology that aligns with your budget and current project goals. Once the prototype has been approved the project will shift to the next phase.
This is where the magic turns into reality. We take the approved conceptual design and break it into manufacturable parts and assemblies. Many considerations are taken into account. Annual volumes, budget, timelines, technology, production strategy, assembly strategy, business strategy, etc. Each part or assembly of parts is designed towards a particular manufacturing process. All internal and external details are incorporated. Mounting points, structural ribbing, panel overlaps, colour, material, finish, gaskets, vents, hardware, electronics, chassis and any other aesthetic, mechanical or physical requirements that the project may have.
Typically there is at least one round of prototyping (beta) before the design can be approved. During this phase it is highly recommended to start preliminary testing prototypes against physical and mechanical design requirements.
The Design is complete, all Design Requirements are tested, validated, verified and documented in the DMR - Device Master Record. If any of these tests fail, the design will be adjusted to ensure a pass.The design will be transferred to production once V&V is complete.
We have a large network of production manufacturing suppliers that we are able to connect your project with. We are also happy to work with your suppliers, whatever is best for your project. In this stage we do the final DFM - Design For Manufacturing with each production supplier to ensure all details are implemented best for their production machinery and capabilities. 3D CAD files are sent to each supplier with exact shape and form of all internal and external details. 2D CAD drawings accompany 3D CAD sent with tolerances, dimensions and detailed information about each part of the product.
Your product is designed, engineered, manufactured, assembled, packaged and ready to sell. Let's take it to market and get it in the hands of the right people.