The importance of prototype in industrial design

Usually 80% of the production cost is determined during the design phase, which is an important part of controlling product costs. In the company’s product development process, industrial design has always played an important role in overseeing the overall situation. The decision at the beginning of industrial design is to consider the entire cycle of product design positioning, cost control, manufacturing, quality inspection, publicity display, marketing and recycling treatment, which has a profound impact. In the industrial design process, model production is an important link. From purely manual model production to semi-mechanical model production to modern CAM, the progress of hand model production is a microcosm of the progress of modern manufacturing technology. Practice has proved that the production of hand model is not only good for Product design decision-making plays a very important role, and it is also a sharp weapon for product information confidentiality and market promotion. Let’s take a look at the importance of the prototype model from the different stages of the industrial design process.


Design optimization

Modern industrial design covers a wide range of contents, from paper clips and ballpoint pens to airplanes and ships. They all contain the shadow of modern industrial design, but so many products have different design methods. Mechanical parts that focus on geometric figures can be directly designed through computer graphics, and can also perform some degree of motion simulation experiments through the dynamics of computer 3D software. For some products with curved surfaces, such as small household electrical appliances, on the one hand, they can be designed directly by a computer, and on the other hand, 3D modeling data can also be obtained by 3D mapping using reverse engineering technology (commonly known as copy number). The value algorithm performs smooth correction, and the three-dimensional model data formed after the correction can be used for making a hand model. For the design of artwork that emphasizes the change of curved shape, the advantage of this method is even more obvious, because the appearance of the artwork focuses on the direct aesthetic feeling of the person, and it is often irregular. Direct computer 3D drawing is more effective. Even if a model is established, its subsequent modification is very poor. If the opposite is true, the shape designer will first shape the shape directly with sludge and other materials, and then use 3D scanning equipment. By parameterizing the model and obtaining the computer data of the original model, it can be further processed and manufactured by the prototype rapid model equipment, which can greatly improve the design efficiency.



Design discussion

In the process of product design, discussion is very important. Visualization is an important part of product design expression and the cornerstone of design discussion. Modeling products quickly and efficiently can achieve higher design efficiency at the same time. In the creative stage of design, the most commonly used is the 2D representation based on drawings. However, in the middle and late stages, the performance of the design will be more specific, and a more specific and intuitive prototype model should be used as the object of discussion. Compared with flat 2D performance, prototypes / mockup has irreplaceable advantages. Prototypes can make the details of the product more clear and the visual experience of the product more intuitive. Everyone in the design team can view these designs, which has obvious advantages in coordinating the work of the entire team.



Functional test

The production of the prototype model can be used for certain functional tests, which can simulate the final shape of the product, including functional shapes, curved surface shapes, etc. Using materials with a certain strength (such as ABS, PC, etc.), functions that include internal structures can be manufactured Model to test whether the structure of the product is reasonable, whether the wall thickness meets the requirements, whether the moving parts are smooth, etc. Aerodynamic tests can also be performed with a hand-board model. For example, in the design of cars, high-speed trains, or spacecraft that require high-speed moving objects, a 1: 1 model can be made and placed in a wind tunnel for intuitive aerodynamic research.



Reduce costs

A design defect that costs 1,000 yuan to make a prototype and test it. If it is put into production and put on the market, it may cause a huge loss of 10 million yuan. In many cases, this problem is often fatal. The steady progress of the design process is very necessary, so it is very important to find defects in the product design process in the early stage of product design and correct them in time to avoid problems in subsequent production. Among them, model making is an important link we can use. Through the production of prototype models, the final shape, size, structure, or color test of the product can be obtained at a small cost, and important information such as the volume and quality of the product can be predicted. The cost of raw materials can be effectively controlled. From this, the sales price and sales profit of the product are estimated. If the cost exceeds the initial assumption of the design, it can be adjusted in a timely manner until the cost target range is reached. The production of prototype models is an effective means of enterprise cost control.



Product confidentiality

Product design is an important part of the company’s core competitiveness. Products need to be kept strictly confidential during the design phase. The division of labor in modern manufacturing is becoming more and more detailed. The advantage of design outsourcing is that it eliminates the need to establish an independent design agency within the enterprise. The cost of product development also reduces the risk of product research and development, but it also makes it difficult to keep the product secret. Even if the company has its own research and development institution, if the model stage still needs to be completed by an external design agency, there is still the possibility of leakage of design secrets So now large-scale manufacturing companies generally have their own independent R & D institutions and have their own prototype model making equipment, so that the new product research and development process is completed independently within the enterprise design team, reducing the contact with external service agencies, thereby maximizing Ensure that the design data is not leaked and protect the design secrets of the enterprise.



Market research

In the exhibition, flat display boards or three-dimensional animation demonstrations will not be shown to potential customers. The simulation model can most intuitively indicate the product’s shape, color, size, structure and function. . The production of prototype models is a convenient and fast initial performance of the product. You can make different initial plans into models, conduct market surveys through exhibitions or let the end customers perform actual verification. You can also use the rapid prototype model technology to make small batches of models. Send product models to different regions for surveys to get more market-specific survey data. Model making technology can predict the actual psychological effect and use effect of the final consumer of the product before mass production.

In general, with the advancement of modern processing technology, the technology of making prototype models is becoming more and more effective. HITIONS currently has four main processing methods: CNC processing, 3D printing rapid prototyping, vacuum casting, low volume production along with varied post processing.

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