Category: Mechanical Design

How Mechanical Design Will Always Be Relevant

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Mechanical Design

With the modern age becoming increasingly digital, one of the questions we at RF3 Design Ltd is whether the mechanical design work we do is getting less in demand. This isn’t at all the case, for a couple of very important reasons. Today we’re taking a few minutes to tell you why good old fashioned hardware will never die out:

Mechanical Design: Analogue Machinery in the Digital Age

Mechanical Design DerbyIt’s likely that you’re working much more with digital equipment these days, but the fact remains that without good old fashioned mechanical design, our lives would be vastly different – and much more inconvenient – than they are.

It’s worth remembering that without their mechanical parts, your digital tech wouldn’t exist. Everything from the processor that works as the brain for every piece of electronic equipment to the accelerometer that tells your phone whether it’s being held portrait or landscape is a part of mechanical design. Almost every single industry sector there is has essential machinery in a full analogue state – from the handyman’s drill to the life-saving diagnostic equipment in your local hospital.

There are also many places in which digital tech can be cheaper, quicker and easy to use – but still doesn’t perform as well or just doesn’t feel right. There are many professional photographers, even those young enough to have always lived in a world where digital photography has always been the industry standard, who continue to use film because somehow it just looks better. As we posted last month, many music production studios use equipment which should, by now, be archaic, because it simply creates sounds more appealing to the human ear that digital counterparts can.

Also, don’t forget that every piece of digital technology – the laptop or desktop computer that you keep in the office, the tablet you have to keep you informed when you’re on the road, and the phone you use when your children have “borrowed” your tablet to watch Spongebob or Dexter, were all created on a production line by mechanical robots.

We need it.

Electronic Design in a New Product – RF3 Design Derby

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Electronic DesignA new electrical product can have everything going for it – strong marketing, little direct competition, and a good visibility campaign, but if its electronic design isn’t absolutely perfect, then the product could be victim to faults, unnecessarily expensive components, or heat and power problems which can cause a product to fail. Electronic design is essential to make sure that an electrical product can be produced as cheaply and is as economical with its power consumption as possible.

Electronic Design – Simplicity and Innovation is Key

There have been many cases of product competition in which electronic design is responsible for sinking one product and making the other successful. Let’s have a brief look at two battles:

Power Consumption: GameBoy vs. Game Gear

Once upon a time, Sega was a powerful enough hardware producer that its MegaDrive system competed comfortably with Nintendo’s SNES console. However, its handheld game console, the Game Gear, could not compete with Nintendo’s GameBoy console for one main reason: its massive power consumption. It required 6 AA batteries, which would deliver only 3-5 hours of gaming. Although the Game Gear offered features the GameBoy didn’t – a full-colour, backlit screen, for instance – the GameGear was too expensive to run, and disappeared while Nintendo’s handheld range is still going strong with the DS and 3DS range of handheld consoles.

Lack of Processing Power – iPhone vs Blackberry

The iPhone range has a lot of flaws – its constant refreshing and repackaging of hardware has led many people to be very skeptical about buying one – but iPhone sales vastly beat RIM’s BlackBerry range. This is because, at least until recently, BlackBerry phones simply couldn’t compete with iPhone’s processing abilities. Inadequate electronic components brought the BlackBerry range to the brink of extinction – however, RIM’s new range appears able to compete. Time will tell.

Put simply, with a little better electronic design, BlackBerry may never have been threatened with extinction and we still might be using Sega hardware. Don’t let your products be the victim of bad electronic design!

Getting Started with Mechanical Design

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Mechanical Design

The Process of Mechanical Design

Mechanical DesignMechanical design is a complex task. It’s quite surprising how much creativity is required – sometimes you’ve got to think very originally to successfully design the mechanisms needed to solve the problem your product targets.

Designing mechanisms is, in many ways, the bread and butter of good product design – it’s the basis from which the entire plan of attack is based, including marketing, pricing, and manufacture. Good mechanical design leads to profitability and can help give products a reputation for reliability and style – bad mechanical design can lead to a products’ total failure, and even ruin companies’ reputations.

Three key terms every mechanical designer should remember are:

1. Simplicity

If a product’s mechanical design isn’t as simple as it possibly can be, then it isn’t good enough. Not only should a product be as simple to manufacture as possible to keep labour and component costs to a minimum, but a simple mechanism is far less likely to fail or wear out than an over-complicated one.

2. Profitability

The entire point of product design is to make money. If your product is absolutely perfect for its purpose, but so highly priced that few can afford it or – even worse – it only breaks even or even makes a loss per unit sold, then it’s not a perfect design. A compromise of quality and affordability must sometimes be struck to make sure that a product can survive in today’s saturated markets. Of course, quality is always important – in an ideal world, all products would be amazing quality – but high prices on products has driven many a company out of business. Don’t let it be yours.

3. Ease-of-Use

Of course, this is more of a guideline than a proper rule – some products such as IC chips, medical or industry equipment, and some software packages have to be intensely complex to serve their function. However, some of the most successful products – the Grabber disability aid, some toys, most household items – are successful because of their simplicity. Modern fat-reducing kitchen grills are nothing more than curvy hot plates on an angle, but they have replaced pan-frying for many families because of their simplicity (and extremely clever marketing).

We hope you’ve found this interesting! Good luck with your own designs!

Importance of Mechanical Design When Designing A Product

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Mechanical design is generally a complex process that requires a wide range of skills; this complexity normally requires a set sequence in which a number of ideas are introduced, reviewed and iterated. The design process is an innovative process where decisions are made; based on available information or made tentatively with adjustments allowed as more things become clear during the mechanical design of the product.

It usually involves the use of engineering tools such as statistics, graphics, computers, mathematics and languages to produce a plan that produces a product that is safe, functional, usable, competitive, easy to manufacture and marketable irrespective of who uses or builds the said product.

Mechanical Design
Mechanical Design

The introduction of Mechanical 3D models which utilise state of the art CAD tools does bring some life and high levels of transparency into the goals of any product design with respect to clearance, tolerance, aesthetics and clash detection; thereby allowing for effective communication of design ideas within the team. This has led to a faster and more productive design process.

The drawings or sketches that are developed during the design process usually provide the team with some insights on how the product should look like; this allows the entire team to be in sync with each other as to what exactly they intend to produce, when this is done early enough in the product development process a lot of time and resources is saved.

Rapid prototyping can be easily achieved through some mechanical design of the product; this allows the management to visually see the end product before commencing the actual production of the said product. Its viability, in terms of functionality and cost of production can thus be determined early enough. Improvements are also suggested, noted and implemented quite early enough in the production stage.

The process of mechanically designing a product makes it easy to develop simplified assembly designs once the designs have been completed. Since the prototype developed has all the required parts, it is easy to decide on where and how to assemble the required parts and get their accurate measurements too and provide full fledged manufacturing drawings.

The use of mechanical design also allows the product design team to perform speedy verification and subsequent validation of developed designs against laid out design rules and provided specifications that were earlier agreed upon. It thus enhances both the accuracy and general safety of the product in question.

Most advanced design tools that are used in this process do allow for some bi-directional parametric association of the product features. This makes alterations, deletions and general improvements on the initial design quite simple and easy to implement. Any alteration on a particular feature is automatically reflected in all the data that relies on that particular feature. This makes the process of making changes more traceable and enhances uniformity.

Designers can also provide some value addition on the design of an existing part of a product design without necessarily using the internal CAD files of the original designer who may be unwilling to provide the said files due to proprietary reasons. A mechanical designer overcomes this problem by scanning the existing product and creating a CAD model of the same.

It is also worth noting that having mechanical designs of the said products electronically stored provides for an easy avenue for reusing the same designs with minor alterations during future developments of other related products or subsequent improvements of the same product.

The Latest in Mechanical Design

Sometimes in mechanical design, new products and concepts are drafted up that involve the use of 3D printing. 3D printing is a relatively new concept on the rest of us, and has the potential to create products that can change peoples lives. Take a look at some of these designs that use the technology and how it can change the way we live.

 

Mechanical Design
Mechanical Design

Researchers create ‘bionic ear’ with a 3D printer

Thanks to advancements in technology it’s now possible to combine cells to create a bionic ear which can receive and transmit radio signals. the scientists said this bionic wasn’t to replace a human one, but to simple show what can be done with 3D printing, and the possibilities that it has.

Read more:┬áResearchers create ‘bionic ear’ with a 3D printer

 

Is this the plaster cast of the future? Designer uses 3D printing to create tailor-made exoskeleton to help heal broken bones

A designer has used a 3D printer to create a new type of cast for broken bones, which could potentially replace the old bulky casts that are traditionally used. The new cast will be lightweight and breathable and will be moulded to the specific patient.

Read more here: Is this the plaster cast of the future?

 

3D-Printed Human Organs Prep Doctors for Real Surgeries

3D printing has allowed the possibility of surgeons to practice on patients organs, before they carry out the surgery for real. This is a great advancement, and can help surgeons get a grasp on how they will undertake the surgery in regards to the physiology of the organ.

Read the full story here: 3D printed human organs prep doctors for real surgeries

 

Buttercup the Duck gets prosthetic 3D-printed foot

A duck who was born with his left foot turned, has been fitted with a 3D printed prosthetic foot to help him walk normally. The prosthetic foot has taken some time to get used to, but means that he now has the ability to walk better.

Read the full story here: Buttercup the duck gets prosthetic 3D printed foot

Mechanical Design News

Mechanical design encompasses a vast range of products, but most importantly it helps with the process of new medical products. Medical product design is of great importance, from products to help detect diseases, to equipment used to help aid disabled, it forms an important part of every day life for many people. Here is the latest news in medical and mechanical product design.

 

Mechanical Design
Mechanical Design

Mechanical Prosthetic Hand Developers Release Design To Public Domain [VIDEO]
Creators of a prosthetic hand have made the design free to anyone to use, all that is needed is a 3D printer, which makes the possibility a lot cheaper. The link to this video shows the robotic hand in use.

See the video here: Mechanical prosthetic hand developers release design to public domain

 

Medical students perform “cyber surgery” with 3D holographic images

Medical students are now able to perform cyber surgery using 3D software that gives students the ability to view 3D images that give the sense of operating on a human. This is great news as it could potentially improve the students learning process.

Read the full story here: Medical students perform “cyber surgery” with 3D holographic images
3D imaging machine helps physicians identify cancer earlier, more frequently

Using a 3D imaging machine to identify potential risks during a mammogram, can now be possible. Thanks to this machine, it’s now possible to view all aspects, rather than a standard 2D image, where it was possible to miss potential risks. This could be a life saver.

Read the full story here: 3D imaging machine helps physicians identify cancer earlier, more frequently

 

“First medical tricorder” seeks crowd-funding ahead of FDA approval

A device which helps record diagnostics of your well being, is now looking to the public for funding. The device will help read things such as blood pressure, heart rate and core body temperature, to help gage an over all sense of your well being, and may well be able to detect signs of illness.

Read the full story here: First medical tricorder seeks crowd funding ahead of FDA approval

 

 

The Process of Mechanical Design

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Mechanical Design Process

A Step-by-Step Look at the Mechanical Design Process

Mechanical Design ProcessThe design process involves turning a simple idea, based on the needs of consumers, into a complete product that meets these needs. The mechanical design of a product is a sequential process, as the output of one step is the input of the next one.

The process begins with:

Statement of the problem

In this stage, the designer identifies the problem to be solved. This is an essential design stage, because the development of a new product may become time consuming and complicated if the problem wasn’t adequately stated at the very beginning. Stating the problem would help to keep everyone updated and to eliminate potential problems.

Product Design Specification

This is one of the most important stages of the product design process. It is important to understand the actual problem first before coming up with a ‘solution’. The product design specification gives a detailed description of the problem. Seeking the views of potential customers and analysing the market to come up with a requirement list that would generate a successful product is essential.

Concept Design

A conceptual design simply outlines the key components and arrangement of a product without mentioning the specifics. However, the level of detail outlined at this stage would vary according to the product being designed. This stage involves coming up with many different concept designs which correspond to the product requirements, and then choosing the best one after evaluation.

Concept generation

Most mechanical design starts when designers capture their thoughts by sketching and drafting them on a paper. Designers often use mind-mapping, where ideas are generated without giving too much conscious thought, and working from the best basic ideas.

Concept evaluation

After generating many concepts, it is important to choose the best design that would fulfill the requirements as outlined in the product design specification. This task should be performed by a dynamic design team, so that every concept and idea may be evaluated from many angles or perspectives.

Detail design

In this stage, the concept design you have settled on is designed in detail with all the necessary dimensions and specifications included to come up with a detailed drawing of the product design. It may be important to create prototypes to help you understand how the product would look.

Testing

This step may be simple or complicated depending on the product being designed and the potential buyers; a few people test the product and give their feedback or it, can be sent to a testing laboratory for thorough and professional testing.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the last step in the mechanical design process. In this step, the designer would look for suitable and relevant manufacturing facilities to make the final product. It’s important to evaluate and consider relevant manufacturing aspects, such as the cost, how long it would take to make them and so on.

Mechanical Design is a very specific skill, so it always helps to talk to a true industry expert! Call RF3 Design Limited to get the ball rolling on the products and mechanics you need.

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Categories: Mechanical Design