Design Refinement Package

Prototype Cycle

Your Product Design Is Now Ready For Prototyping

It’s Exciting To Know You’ll Finally Hold A 3-Dimensional Model

You’re following our product design development path and you’re ready for the next step. You’ve “played with” the design in 3-D modeling. Now, you’re ready to turn that computer image into something you can hold. In this package, we refine your design to the point where it has the potential for manufacturing—and you get to hold a real product model.

This Package Has Been Designed To Solve Specific Problems…

That Arise During The Product Design Process

Getting a product out of your mind and into reality is pretty exciting. It’s not a short path and it’s not a straight path. There are a lot of zigzags as you improve your idea during a series of iterations.

Refining the design is critical to having a manufacturable product. We’ve designed this package to move you from initial design draft to a refined design ready for user testing. These are the problems that this package solves.

  • You can’t refine your product idea any further without creating a prototype. You’ve reached the limits of what can be done with computer modeling. You need to see a physical model before you can be sure you’ve reached a final design.
  • You need to have a product prototype so you can begin a crowdfunding campaign. You’ve planned for this goal all along. You’ve done everything it takes to get your product idea to this point. Now, you must have a prototype to go forward with funding efforts.
  • You want to turn computer-generated images into a physical model—for a predictable cost. It’s time for the next logical step in product development and you need to know what your prototype will cost you.

These Are The Kinds OF Solutions You Get From This Package…

And They All Have To Do With Producing A Physical Model

This package ends up with a product model you can hold in your hands. It’s definitely a high point for our customers. There’s nothing else like it—at least until you get to hold your final manufactured product. These are the solutions you can expect from this package.

  • You have a path to developing a prototype so you can refine your product idea further. You are no longer limited by computer modeling. With a physical model, it’s easier to visualize additional design modifications. It’s the next step on your path to the final design.
  • You have a product prototype for your crowdfunding campaign. It is the realization of your long-term goal. Because of our structured approach to produce a prototype, you’re finally able to go forward with funding efforts.
  • You have turned your computer-generated images into a physical model—for a predictable cost. It’s been a wonderful experience to take the next logical step in product development and to know your prototype costs in advance.

Getting To the Prototype Stage Is EXCITING

Here’s Exactly How It Works

For all the packages we offer, we have a structured process. We want you to know exactly what you can expect. When you read this package, it may start to sound like designing a product is a boring series of design iterations and meetings. That doesn’t fully capture how exciting it is to see your product develop over time. Here’s how this package works.

Phase 1: Prototype Design Kickoff

Step 1: We Have A Conversation To Review The Initial Design Package

This is the “full of ideas” stage of your project. You’ll show your drawings to friends and family and they’ll have suggestions. You’ll get brilliant ideas in the shower. I’ll suggest new ideas. Designers in our shop have brainstorms. Even though the project progressed to a good point with the Initial Design Package, you’ll be surprised at how your product continues to evolve.

We start off with an interview and review of any new concepts. We talk about your current goals, what you like about the design, and changes you want. You’ll be surprised how many new ideas you have. As we go through this phase of the process, it becomes obvious that we both (you and the designer) become a little obsessed with thinking of design improvements. It’s fun. It’s creative. There’s nothing like the intense high of this phase of development.

We discuss what’s going to happen in the package. We develop a preliminary schedule of activities and timelines. Most importantly, we get crystal clear on exactly what you want—so we can deliver it to you.

Step 2: We Incorporate New Ideas Into Fusion 360 Drawings

We take all the ideas and information from that meeting and develop new drawings. We “remodel” the design, often starting from scratch. As we change the design, additional design ideas are revealed. We may have quick conferences with you or send you sketches of new ideas.

Our collaborative approach produces a consistent evolution of your design. You see that each iteration makes your design better. Customers always enjoy looking back to see the product evolution.

Step 3: We Have A Conversation About the Changes

By now our design conversations are getting pretty efficient. We look at the latest design version and discuss what you like and don’t like. We come up with new ideas.

I may show you several different design options with various aesthetic tweaks. We will discuss manufacturing or materials considerations as they impact the prototype and final manufactured product. I recommend a version and the reasoning for that choice. You select a version for your draft prototype.

Phase 2—Prototyping

Step 1: We Print A Rough Draft 3-D Prototype

We take your chosen design and 3-D print a rough draft prototype. “Draft mode” means that it’s not the highest quality. We use draft mode on this version to save money and time. The draft model is going to be used to refine the design for a finished prototype.

Here’s the technical “stuff” about the draft prototype. The prototype is printed at a layer resolution of 300 microns (the thickness of each layer) at 9000 millimeters a minute (speed). Being a fast print mode, it takes less time (though it’s still 3-4 times faster than a hobbyist 3-D printer).

The technical details (if you need them) are:

  • We typically print drafts in PLA (Polylactic Acid) plastic, the primary natural raw material used in 3D printing.
  • We print the draft prototype in either black or white. It’s your choice!
  • Printing is done on a Fusion3 F400-S 3-D Printer.

Step 2: We Meet To Show You The Draft Prototype and Discuss It

Next is show-and-tell time to discuss your prototype. Touching your product physically and seeing it in real life for the first time is exciting. Most customers are thrilled by the experience. Some new design ideas inevitably come up as we rotate the real object and talk about it together.

I start out by asking you if you see any changes you might want in the final prototype. We talk about changes—functional or aesthetic—still to be made in the model. I suggest ideas and make recommendations. We discuss 3-D costs and manufacturing costs to ensure that they fit your budget.

We talk about materials options for your prototype. We print final prototypes in ABS plastic, and you have color options in this final version. However you may need or want to upgrade materials (for an additional charge) for your own specific purposes. Some customers choose to print in more expensive materials that are closer to intended manufacturing materials.

After all changes are made, we send you one last rendering. We get your sign-off on the version to be 3-D printed as the final prototype.

Step 3: We Print The Final Prototype Model

Now we print the final model of your prototype. This is printed with a different printer (Fusion Fusion3 F410-S) for a finer product. It is a high-detail printer, and takes about 3X as long to print as the draft model. The layer resolution is 100 microns (the thickness of each layer) at 2200 mm a minute (speed).

Phase 3: Project Windup

Step 1: We Prepare Written Materials For You

Nicko Benson CEO, Wave Cooler, LLC

Nicko Benson CEO, Wave Cooler, LLC

Along with the final 3-D printed prototype, we also prepare another packet of documents for you. They include:

  • A refined version of specifications that fit the latest design.
  • A printed revised rendering of the new model.
  • Preliminary manufacturing estimates and recommendations.
  • Crowdfunding ideas and information about potential problems and solutions.
  • All files are copied onto a USB drive for you.

Step 2: We Have A Conversation About The Final Prototype

We wind up the project with two different conversations at the same meeting. These are the topics:

  • We talk about the final prototype.
  • Then, we talk about the next steps for your product.

In the first part of the meeting, the main event is presenting your final prototype. We also run through the packet of information described in the previous step. This is a time for celebrating and self-congratulation. Believe me, we’re celebrating with you!

Step 3: We Discuss Next Steps In Your Product Development

After we’ve finished that discussion, we talk about what’s next for you and your product. We have a package for the next step—Final Design—which includes user testing and final design refinement preparing for manufacturing.

Product Design & DevelopmentAt this point, clients are full of questions. These are the kinds of questions we hear over and over—that we answer during this conversation:

  • Can you help me with getting the product manufactured?
  • Should I manufacture in the US or out of the country?
  • Can I trust a manufacturer in China?
  • Do I have the manufacturer sign an NDA?
  • How can I make sure my intellectual property doesn’t get stolen during manufacturing?
  • What are your suggestions for my next step?
  • I want to do a crowdfunding campaign. Can you help me or advise me on it?
  • How do I do it?
  • What do I need to know?
  • What specialists do you recommend?
  • Do I need a website?
  • Do I need a video?
  • Do I need a publicist?

Then we ask you if you’re ready for the Final Design Package. In this package we prepare your product for manufacturing. We conduct user testing and refine the design into final plans for the manufacturer. You get your Final Detail Design (like blueprints) and Technical Documentation to provide to manufacturers.

It’s an exciting decision time for clients. Both excitement and fear intertwine equally as you weigh costs and profits. For some, the decision is easy. For others, there’s a bit of trepidation.

If You’re Interested In Discussing This Package

Call Now And Let’s Start The Ball Rolling!

If you’ve read this page and feel excited, be sure and take action now. There is no charge for our initial conversation. We’ll answer any questions you have, and support you in pursuing your dream for your product idea.

Where To Next?

Now that you understand how the Design Refinement Package works, you may want to review our Final Design Package to learn about your last step before manufacturing. For the full details on that package, go to Final Design Package (link).

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