Have you ever wondered about designing a product on your own & creating a market for it?
You are not alone my friend.
Making products of your own and selling them to the customers requires lots of effort and dedication. Product design is a tedious process involving a lot of factors but you can do it if you are determined.
Efficiency in the product design process backed up by a properly researched product idea is crucial to the overall product development process. So, I urge you to keep on reading till the end. You’ll learn exactly the steps required to take your product idea to the market.
What will you learn in this article?
- Product Design
- Mass Manufacturing
- On-Demand Manufacturing
- Marketing it with an online store
The Primary Stage in this whole process will be Product Design.
Product Design – Designing Your Product :
In Simple terms, Product Design is the process where you use software & give life to your product idea. But it’s not easy, you will have to consider a lot of things.
While intending to create a product some of the key questions that should be asked include:
“What can be the product?”
“What is the purpose of this product?”,
“Who can benefit from this product?”
“What is the product?”
“What problem does it exactly solve?”
“Who is the primary customer?”
“What is the basic size and dimensions?”
“What is the minimum parts required?”
“Does it needs moving parts? How do i reduce the moving part quantity?”
“What will be the most suitable material for my application?”
However, developing a design idea is undoubtedly the foremost step in product design. You need proper design thinking to get it right. but you have to start somewhere or you’ll never get anywhere.
In the modern world, engaging in creating a design idea has resulted in massive encouragement towards product design.
The best part about product design is that you become aware of the end-to-end use of this product in addition to the design processes. When you have a meaningful worldview then you can use your intuition & design thinking to solve a problem effectively using your product.
After this step, comes the crucial phase of conducting thorough research about your product.
Are you sure that this product is popular in the market?
Are you sure there will be demand for this product?
Does your product concept seem similar to some of the currently trending market needs?
Again, if your product is quite identical, how can your product prove to be better than the others?
Will it be more convenient for the customers?
With the help of this information and useful insights, you can engage in developing your product design. In addition to understanding the purpose of the product created, it is also important to be sure of the raw materials to be used, the quality of the product, and its cost-effectiveness.
You don’t want to make a product that will cost too much to make where you could have thought about certain parameters & easily reduced the cost in various areas.
While iterating the product design, you should come up with a complete sketch of the product that specifies the dimensions, the raw materials that you might use.
For this particular process, you can use 3D modeling softwares such as AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, SolidWorks, CATIA, and others that assist you in creating a 3D model of the product design sketch. You can check out this link here to choose the right software for your application.
You can create individual parts and assemble them in the main assembly where you can visualize the parts & check the fitment of the product with tolerances for each individual parts.
You can search tutorials for these softwares, at the beginning it can be a little tricky but once you get hold of it, CAD designing will naturally flow. It’s quite interesting but you must be determined.
You will also be happy to know that there are several marketplaces where you can easily buy, sell, or even share the 3D Printed files for the e-commerce market. Some of these include Turbosquid, Sculpteo, Sketchfab, Shapeways, Pinshape, and more. They will actually pay you for your designs. The opportunities are endless if you are good with product design using CAD Softwares.
Once you are fully satisfied with the product design, the next step is to generate a fully operational prototype. This is one of the fun things one can do in their lifetime. Actually designing something & trying to make it work requires commitment & dedication. This Step Is crucial. Keep on reading to understand about different processes that you can utilize once you have designed your product using the above-mentioned software.
So what if you do not have the time or you don’t really want to get into CAD Model making,
It’s your lucky day. There are websites which provide a massive collection of CAD Models from jewelry to Engines. You can just download them and use it. Saves a lot of time. You should, in fact, check these websites even before starting the entire process. Few websites like thingiverse, grabcad, traceparts, they actually provide you proper CAD Models that you can use it for manufacturing & marketing it. Read more about the credits that you have to give them or if your product is really good then they can sue you. Ensure that you have read the policies of the websites from which you are actually downloading the CAD File.
Once you are ready with your design then comes the next step which is Prototyping.
Once you have your product design then what you need is a BOM (Bill of Materials) & the required drawings.
BOM Will have all the part files with a hierarchy based on the assembly & sub-assembly if you have more than one assembly. The BOM will have the part name, drawing name, dimensions, materials, quantity & processes. You just need them for now. The softwares you use to make the CAD Modle will have an option to export the BOM directly with the filled values. You can search for it. Or You can use this guide here from grabcad for a more comprehensive guide.
Now you have a design, BOM & the required drawings. The Next Step is Prototyping where rapid prototyping will be your friend. This is one of the fastest ways to prototype your design.
With prototyping, you can create a physical model of your CAD Model.
Creating a prototype will help you properly check the product features and analyze your hypothesis.
Prototyping is basically the creation of an experimental model from the product design and you undergo multiple corrections & iterations if required before the final model is created.
In this prototyping process, you can make use of manufacturing technologies such as 3D Printing, CNC Machining, and Vacuum Casting technologies. Let’s learn how these processes can help you in your journey towards taking your idea to the market.
Prototyping using 3D Printing:
With 3D Printing, both the prototyping and product design process has become quite convenient. It is not only a cost-effective process but also offers you flexibility in making your products with complexity in part shape.
3D Prototyping, or rapid prototyping, or simply additive manufacturing offers you a more realistic view of the product design instead of just watching it on the computer. With a physical model at hand, you can properly review it, incorporate changes as and when required, and thus save a lot of money in making molds or patterns for the product to be created. Prototyping using 3D Printing helps you develop models comprising of complex structures and eliminates the need for special tools, thus reducing the overall cost of product development.
The materials used in 3D prototyping include Nylon, Glass Filled Nylon, PP Equivalent, PC Equivalent, High Temperature, Tango Elastic, Ultra Detail Plastic, ABS & PLA. For other materials you can check out this page here.
These materials are considered taking into account the cost-effectiveness, quality, and precision, material availability so that you can manufacture the product at the right price. There are different types of 3D Printing Technologies.
When should you use 3D Printing?
- Faster Iterations
- Complex Parts
- 3D Printable Size
- Material is Available in 3D Printing
Learn More about designing for 3D Printing Click here.
Prototyping using CNC Machining
CNC stands for Computer Numeric Control and CNC Machining is the process in which your product design created in 3D CAD is analyzed and the relevant data is computed to CNC machines.
With CNC, the biggest advantage is that the prototyping of parts done from additive manufacturing is made up of excellent production grade materials. You can create your parts with the identical materials meant for the final production process. CNC Machining is in fact absolutely suitable for rapid prototyping of various metal and plastic parts that are of top-notch quality. With CNC, you can achieve outstanding dimensional accuracy, precise surface finish, and important properties that are material specific. The lead time is also highly reduced to 2-5 working days with CNC Machining. Similarly, the product development stages can be extended or shortened to synchronize with customer demands.
Some of the plastic materials used in CNC Machining include ABS, Acrylic PMMA, Teflon, PC, PPS, HDPE, and others. The metal materials used for CNC Machining are Aluminium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Stainless Steel, Magnesium, etc. These are quite commonly used in CNC Machining and offer excellent prototyping through CNC machining.
The only disadvantage of using CNC Machining for rapid prototyping is the expensive nature of the required CNC Machines. While for industrial use or for mass production prototyping this might seem preferable, but it proves quite costly for individual needs.
Prototyping using Vacuum Casting:
It can be vehemently said that vacuum casting is a quicker and cost-efficient prototyping technique for producing precise polyurethane prototypes. Once you have the product design with you, Vacuum Casting can come in handy for producing the polyurethane prototypes in small quantity, say, somewhere around 20 parts.
3D Printing methods such as SLA, Injection molding, and others have significantly transformed the whole manufacturing industry. However, it was soon realized that 3D Printing processes are one among a large number of steps included in the production process and cannot be apprehended to be the product itself. Currently, both 3D Printing and Vacuum Casting have become an integral part of the prototyping processes.
Vacuum Casting makes use of polyurethane materials that have good thermoplastic properties and are similar to rubber, ABS, etc. Certain polyurea materials with properties identical to elastomers, wax, etc., are also used in Vacuum Casting.
Although it is a comparatively slower process than SLA used in 3D Printing for prototyping owing to the fact that there are some extra steps involved, yet it helps in the production of items that are accompanied by outstanding quality. There is no need for any specific molding sand and the metal casting defects are completely eliminated, thanks to zero water content in the prototyping process using vacuum casting.
In fact 3D Printing & Vacuum Casting Come Together at a point where you can use the best of both the worlds. Here is an article about it.
There are a lot of other processes such as sheet metal, welding, laser cutting but these 3 Manufacturing technologies are basic & simple. The Manufacturing industry is large. So you should choose the right manufacturing technology for your product. We would recommend 3D Printing which is the most beginner friendly. 3D Printing in Bangalore, 3D Printing In Pune & basically 3D Printing in India is a big market & a lot of on-demand manufacturers are getting into it. So it’s easy for you to find a manufacturer to do it for you. It’s that simple with 3D Printing.
Learn how to use Vacuum Casting along with 3D Printing to extract the best features of both the worlds.
Having done the quality check, proper testing, and other relevant analysis of the prototype, you should move on to the manufacturing of the products. Various factors such as the amount of production, material types, batch numbers, and others are crucial to this stage of manufacturing.
To start with, the most cost effective and easiest 3D Printing method for mass manufacturing of products is FFF or Desktop FDM technology (Fused Deposition Modelling technology). FFF or Desktop FDM makes use of the usual process of 3D Printing that is, creating the item layer by layer. The materials used here are thermoplastic polymers that are in filament form. ABS and PLA have commonly used FFF or Desktop FDM materials. Since the parts are not solid, the printing time and material requirement are highly reduced. In short, FFF or Desktop FDM is the cheapest 3D Printing Available in the market with speed.
As we have discussed earlier in this article, 3D Printing finds its wide application in the prototyping process. 3D Printing is a part of the whole prototyping and manufacturing process. The Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) , and other 3D Printing processes are especially useful for prototyping. But, when it comes to the mass manufacturing sector, we have seen that Vacuum casting is an efficient method to create less volume of products on a larger scale. On the other hand, for a higher volume of production Injection Molding comes in handy. Injection molding is exclusively used for manufacturing of plastics although aluminum is used sometimes as well. CNC Machining can be used for both prototyping & mass manufacturing.
The methods and tools incorporated for mass manufacturing usually vary from the prototyping processes because prototyping requires flexibility for the product development process whereas the mass production tools and techniques are devised for agility and large volume. As a result of this, there is always less cost associated with each part in mass production methods.
How to use different Manufacturing Technologies for manufacturing?
If the quantity is less than 20 & you need really good surface finish – Vacuum Casting
If the quanity is less than 100 & you need excellent surface finish – CNC Machining
If the quantity is less than 100 & you need good surface finish – 3D Printing
If the quantity is more than 1000 & you need good surface finish – Injection Moulding
That’s about it for mass manufacturing.
But wait there is another way to go about. It’s called On-Demand Manufacturing. Wait you heard it right. Yes, you can manufacture your products on demand as per the demand of the market. So you don’t have to spend capital in mass manufacturing your products rather you can just give the order when there is a requirement from your side. Keep on reading to know more about it which can potentially save you a lot of money.
On-Demand Manufacturing is nothing but you manufacture your products only when there is a requirement & you don’t waste a ton of money upfront.
What if your product fails then you lose a lot of money. but to get started ASAP On Demand Manufacturing is the way to go. On Demand, Manufacturing is based on Cloud Manufacturing.
The important thing about it is. You don’t have to own any machines or deal with suppliers & vendors. You just have to upload your part & you get all the manufacturing options with instant quotation & the freedom to choose over many different materials & processes.
Also, you can manufacture the part in more than one materials & also you can choose more than one process. Compare the cost, quality & the materials. This is the best thing that has happened to the manufacturing industry since Henry Ford.
You can check out COCO which is our cloud manufacturing platform. You can just log in & upload your CAD file to get instant details about the file, Materials & Processes. It’s free so why not give it a try. The least is you can find out how much will it cost to make your file without even spending any money or even talking with anyone.
That’s about it for On-Demand Manufacturing.
Next step is one of the important steps if you are planning to sell consumer products to a wide group of people. If you have developed a consumer product, created the product design, done the prototyping, and considered the mass manufacturing methods, then you shouldn’t step back from selling these consumer products. So, below we are providing you a guide to selling the consumer products.
Market Your Product:
The best way to sell consumer products is through an online platform. You can make use of Facebook, Google, and other websites for extensive digital marketing. Come up with some excellent content about the products and services you are selling. You can simultaneously engage in content marketing as well so that large numbers of people gain access to and knowledge about your products.
There are product launch websites like IndieGoGo & Kickstarter where you can crowd fund even before the product is ready & make a bunch of capital for the product development & manufacturing.
You can have an online store with compelling design & High Definition Images & Videos on Your Product Pages. That’s it. You are ready to market your product & get feedback from the market. Read this guide to get more ideas about online store creation.
Next is the crutial step in deciding whether your product will work or not.
How to reach your potential customers?
Facebook Ads –
We all know that every day we check our Facebook account and what better platform can you get to advertise and sell your consumer products? You can connect with the appropriate customers in the CPG market with the help of efficient Facebook and Instagram ads. You can make use of the Facebook Ads Manager, create your ad, give it a name, select your audience, and target them through ads and relevant events.
Google Ads –
Google ads are also equally convenient and helpful in selling consumer products. You can make use of Google Sheets, TrueView, Ad Pod Testing, goal-based campaigns, and other features to reach out to a large number of people. Google has also introduced various updates related to Google Sheets, have allowed the provision for getting updates through call and message reports, and others. All these facilities will surely prove essential to your ultimate goal to reach out to a large audience.
An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Google Ads
Building up a community
Have you tried building a community of your customers via blogging? Don’t you think this is one of the easiest and powerful ways to reach out to large numbers of the audience? Creating a community will benefit your relationship with your customers. For a perfect blog, describe the product you are selling, its purpose, the advantages, lacunas if any and the alternatives to such obstacles. Always be ready to include your audience in your blogs. Make sure you are interactive and raise questions at regular intervals. Also, connect with your audience by answering their questions or comments. Content is king. The best part is you don’t have to spend money to acquire customers. You just have to have good quality content that is resonating with your industry and a good funnel what turns a potential visitor into a customer. This also is useful for feedback and also to sell them in the future.
One of the best examples of an effective platform for selling products online is Shopify. It will hardly take you minutes to build your store and thus help you promote your brand. You can also gain useful insights about the product sales and leverage them to expand your business. The Shopify mobile app makes it even more convenient and efficient in managing audience and sales with just a touch of the hand.
So Far You Have Understood –
- Product Ideation & Design
- Prototyping & iterating you design
- How to choose the processes for mass manufacturing
- Learned About On-Demand Manufacturing
- A Digital Way to Market Your Product
Having understood the bits and pieces of product design, prototyping, and the selling of consumer products, are you ready to create your own product and sell it. It has been observed that people have numerous ideas for creating products and selling them. However, they are not able to do so because of the job constraints, or lack of knowledge and resources, lack of substantial help, and more.
Nowadays, people prefer leaving their jobs and developing their own product. Why? Because everyone is depressed and in huge turmoil over the job timings, the workload, working environment, and other factors. So, why not create something of your own that will benefit the society and yourself? Why be entwined in the traditional methods of earning money by doing job, when you can earn double or triple from your own product? Why not be at your own comfort and produce and sell items that will hugely aid people? You should always consider this option.
India, a developing country requires efforts and devotion of such people that are interested to create products of their own for the betterment of the society. So, we here encourage you to come up with a product idea, take help of software to do product design, create prototypes and discard the lacunas before generating the final product, and then create ads and communities and share valuable contents through blogging to sell the consumer products worldwide.
What Are You Waiting For? Get Started Today!