All innovation begins with an idea or a single a-ha moment. However, converting the idea into a profitable product in an economically efficient manner has always been the challenge facing product designers.
Traditionally product design and development involved creating several iterations of prototypes and carrying out extensive testing.
Although an element of design iteration and prototype development will always exist due to human error the cost associated to it can be minimised significantly using product design software. Digital prototyping makes it possible to verify and validate designs prior to manufacturing the first article of the product.
Digital prototyping has given design teams the ability to virtually explore a complete product before it is made. Product design tools allow designers to quickly assess if a concept or design is worth pursuing.
All the design data can be integrated into a single digital model including physical properties and design logic. Visual representations allow easy communication of the design intent to all involved stakeholders and accommodate easier buy in from the non-technical partners in the product development process.
In the design phase of a product development cycle designers and engineers tend to have various ideas that need to be communicated and validated as quickly as possible.
Reality is that some of these ideas will be worthwhile however some of these ideas will lead to production problems further in the design and development cycle. The sooner the good ideas are identified and capitalised on and the not so good ideas are removed-the faster the product can be released to the market. All of which results in improved organisational results and performance.
Business experts argue that the first thing that you must do is distinguish between productive and unproductive products and ideas. There is nothing to be gained from tolerating defects on the production line or products that will not sell.
With this in mind the value of Autodesk’s Product Design Suites can be clearly seen in the product development process. They provide designers with the tools required to minimise the costs associated with developing a product and also increasing creativity and innovation along the way.
Using them to gain early buy-in from clients using real time presentation and advanced rendering tools such as Autodesk Showcase, really accelerates the development process.
Design reviews and gateways can be approved using integrated design review tools such as Navisworks Simulate.
As well, Autodesk Inventor’s Dynamic Simulation tools make design engineering calculations easier to verify and calculate such as working out the design pressure required in a hydraulic cylinder or the force required in a spring.
[Niall Smyth, Inventor Technical Consultant at AEC Systems.]
[Image: Autodesk Showcase, courtesy of rendering.eventbrite.com]