Product Development Process

Creative Engineering takes a proactive, independently minded approach to solving design problems. We question assumptions and drive innovation. We often provide answers to “impossible” design problems by changing the question, or by way of other “out of the box” creative approaches.

Cost, function, aesthetics, manufacturability and marketing all contribute requirements to a product. The role of Creative Engineering is to generate a design that meets these sometimes conflicting goals while carefully balancing the resulting compromises in order to deliver the best possible product.

Brainstorm

Based on your performance goals and design limitations we will develop creative ideas to solve difficult design problems such as: helping to create a revolutionary new product, improving on an existing product or avoiding a patent infringement.

Breadboard

A proof-of-concept model may be required to demonstrate the validity of a design. This “breadboard” model can also be used as a developmental prototype to try out different components such as springs, gears and motors.

Design

Once a brainstormed solution has been selected we will embody it in a preliminary design. We will focus on keeping the design as simple as possible while ensuring that it fits within the required physical envelope and meets the design requirements.

Engineer

Using the parameters established with the breadboard as a guide, complete tooling ready CAD models are created in Pro/ENGINEER or Solidworks. Shaded renderings, perspective drawings and orthogonal views with cross sections communicate the progress.

Prototype

An accurate functional prototype of the product is created using Rapid Prototyping technology, CNC machining, or both. This sample is a critical part of the process. It allows the customer to evaluate the merits of the new product, and the engineering team to check the integrity of the CAD design.

Refine

Customer feedback and functional evaluation of the prototype drive final design changes and improvements that are implemented before freezing the design for manufacturing. Components are carefully checked for manufacturability.

Document

Product documentation capabilities include: Bill of Materials, descriptive text, 2-D detail drawings, 3-D CAD data, core and cavity surface data, perspective views, shaded renderings and computer animations.

Tooling

At the tooling stage, communication with vendors is often helpful  to ensure parts are produced as designed to minimize costs. Services can also include vendor selection assistance and quality control guidance.

Debug

At the beginning stages of production, first run parts need to be debugged to diagnose problems, identify cost reductions and improve performance. Changes are then made as necessary to the manufacturing processes to ensure that the final product performs as intended.