Component Design: From Idea to Iteration

Component Design Idea To Iteration

Before manufacturing a component, you’ll need to have a clear design. This allows you to take your concept and turn it into a working prototype ready for manufacture. Below is a guide that outlines the importance of component design, as well as some of the steps you should take during the design process.

The Importance of Component Design Before Manufacturing

Having a strong design is important before manufacturing anything - whether you’re manufacturing a fully-fledged product or a small part. Without a design, you may as well be asking manufacturers to guess what you want.

A design allows you to layout specific measurements and specific requirements so that your component can meet your exact demands and be easily repeated. The design stage also allows you to iron out any problems early so that you’re not splurging money on flawed product batches.

The Steps you Should Take if you Have a Design Idea

A professionally developed component idea requires more than simply drawing a loose sketch or writing out a short brief. Your component design process should be thorough - every detail should be carefully thought out and presented. Below are just some of the main steps to consider.

Get in Touch With a Manufacturer and get Their Opinion

Before you get started on the design process, get in touch with a manufacturer and see what is feasible. This could include working out the cost of certain materials and processes to check that it fits within your budget, or simply working out if a manufacturer has the technology to meet your demands.

Get a Professionally Developed Component Idea

Next, start deciding upon the precise properties of your component such as dimensions, materials, shape, quality and quantity. This could include creating sketches to help you visualise it. Consider creating a variety of sketches so that you can compare different ideas and then settle on a final idea.

Get the Idea Turned Into a Prototype

The next stage to consider is component prototype design. A prototype is a working model of your component that helps to provide a tangible idea of what your component will be like. A manufacturing company may be able to create this prototype for you. If you’re torn between multiple design ideas, don’t be afraid to manufacture multiple prototypes so that you can compare them.

Take Time to Reflect and Make Improvements

Once you’ve built a working prototype, take the time to inspect it. There may be aspects of the prototype that you don’t like that may not have been apparent during the design phase.

For instance, specific materials may not look as shiny as you hoped or you may notice ergonomic flaws simply by holding it or interacting with it. Consider how you can improve upon this and then try to build a new prototype with these changes in place. Repeat until you are then happy with the prototype. You are then ready to start manufacturing your component for real use.

Summary

The entre process; from rock in the ground to steel sheet metal, is completely untouched by human hands. The process is instead controlled by operators using state of the art, fully automated equipment from pulpits that overlook the action.

Sheet metal rolls leave the finishing facility as the industries newest superstars; lighter, stronger, highly engineered formable steels that were unheard of less than 200 years ago.

Radshape is a metal fabrication company based in the heart of Birmingham. If you’re interested in the metal fabrication processes offered by Radshape, you can check them out here. Alternatively, you can call our friendly team on +44 (0) 121 242 3323 or email us at sales@radshape.co.uk if you require professional metal fabrication services.