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Computer Aided Design

D2M is determined to provide the best cost services to develop your idea and therefore we offer three levels of CAD design depending on your requirements.
 
1. CAD for concept visualisation
2. Detailed CAD development for prototyping
3. Value Engineering - CAD Development for manufacture
 
CAD design for visualisation will develop the concept, and will result in a 3D CAD model for use on product sell sheets. 
 
What is this CAD stage suitable for?
 
Determining the basics of the concept
Presentation for basic market research before committing further funds to the project
Produce a professional presentation to demonstrate the initial concept to industry
Raising early stage investment before taking the project further
  
What is this CAD stage not suitable for?
Ensuring functionality of the product
Determining final dimensions
Building a functional prototype without further work 
Sending to manufacturers for costing
 
CAD design for prototyping will develop the concept, and will result in a 3D CAD model for developing a prototype. 
 
Scope of Works
If you require a prototype, then it is necessary to refine the CAD model to be appropriate for this. The one-off prototype will likely be used to prove the concept functions correctly, so this needs to be taken into account for the CAD development at this stage in the process. The CAD model that results from this stage therefore may not have the aesthetic of the intended final design, however it will include all the features to enable the functional aspects to be tested. To achieve this, the CAD model needs to be an accurate representation containing the functional aspects of the design, such as individual components, and any initial mechanical or fastening mechanisms. This therefore results in a much greater complexity of the model, which in turn will take substantially more time to develop than initial CAD model for visualisation.
 
Prototypes can be an expensive investment, so it is important to finalise details before this commitment is made. CAD provides the very useful tool of being able to test and experiment with different techniques and features, such as product dimensions, and importantly you are able to ‘undo’ things, which is not an option when prototyping and manufacturing. It is better to spend the time refining details within a CAD package before moving on to prototyping in order to keep overall costs to a minimum. This time spent adjusting the design in this stage results in a much better overall product.
 
Why choose D2M for this stage?
 
This will be completed by one of our professional design engineers and the 3D model will be built using industry standard 3D CAD software. Crucially this stage is completed with prototyping and production in mind and is not just a visualisation of your concept. Further details about the skills and experience of our team of product designers can be found here: http://www.design2market.co.uk/team.html
 
What this stage will do for your concept?
This stage will develop the concept into a 3D model that can be viewed from all angles. This model can be used for: producing a prototype, confirming dimensions prior to prototyping and obtaining unit and tooling estimates for production. 
 
Please note that this model cannot be put directly into production without prototyping and potentially minor development once the production method is finalised by the manufacturer.
 
Value Engineering - CAD Development for manufacture
Prototyping offers the ability to prove the concept works and functions well by user testing it in its intended environment. It therefore offers the ability to identify any areas for refinement and improvement, which can be fed back into the design in order to create a more successful product. This information is used to update the CAD design in areas such as dimensions, wall thicknesses, feature adjustments etc. 
 
Although the manufacture of the product will have been considered from the start of the process, at this stage it is also essential to identify any areas of refinement with reference to the intention of manufacturing the product. The production methods for a prototype are very different to the manufacturing methods used to produce the product on a large scale, so these differences need to be accounted for in the CAD model. For example, you may be able to produce a certain component using prototyping techniques; however it may be necessary to change elements of the component, such as draft angles and undercuts so that it is suitable for industrial manufacturing techniques.
 
At this stage of development it is important to consider the minor, yet significant details of the design. This includes draft angles, tolerances, part line clearances, structural ribbing and attachment methods etc. This attention to detail is necessary to keep tooling and unit costs to a minimum. As with prototyping, manufacturing on a large scale can be expensive, so it is important to make all the necessary changes and refinements whilst still in CAD format, in order to keep costs as low as possible.
 
This stage can be expensive but if it saves money on mould tools and reduces the unit cost then it can pay for itself many times over in production. Often this final CAD model will be prototyped using a ‘soft mould’. This ensure it can be moulded and constructed as per the final design to check all the components fit correctly and go together easily. This is known as a pre-production prototype. 
What is this level of CAD suitable for?
Producing a pre-production prototype
Obtaining accurate unit and tooling costs
Sending to manufacturers to finalise the design and to create pre-production prototypes and then samples.
 
What is it not suitable for?
Going straight into production without pre-production prototyping 
Going straight into production without refinement by your chosen production team.
 
Please note that D2M always recommends that a pre-production prototype is creating prior to tooling. Tooling can be expensive, difficult to modify and time consuming to alter. It is always best to confirm the design prior to tooling and production. Pre-production prototypes are often best made by the factory as this ensures a smooth transition from designer to manufacturer. Please also note that it is also crucial to confirm that the initial samples are fit for purpose prior to running production runs of multiple products.
 
 
 

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