Tag: mechanical design derby

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!

Product Design Derby News Round Up

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Product design Derby experts like to keep on top of the latest news in product design from across the globe. Product design is an important process in any design, it helps determine solutions to products that perhaps aren’t as effective as they should be, and enables a better product to take it’s place. We have curated the latest news in product design so you can keep up to date.


Product Design Derby
Product Design Derby

Sleek, innovative product design transforms the personal breathalyser into a classy fashion statement

A fantastic breathalyser has been designed called AURA. AURA offers a contemporary and sleek looking gadget that uses the very best electrochemical fuel cell sensor technology so you know it’s reliable. This design is hoped to catch on to make people more aware of responsible drinking.

Read the full story here


Is design still about making things?

A really interesting read on how the patterns in product design are changing in todays modern society. Designers are still creating beautiful products, but there is now a bigger focus on creating products that are designed to help those in healthcare, and those in need, to help make lives easier.

Read the full story here


Apple announces the iPhone 5c: 4-inch Retina display, plastic design, available in five colors

Of course we couldn’t forget to mention the new release of the Apple iPhone 5c. Apple have always lead the way with many of their products and it’s fascinating to see how much buzz and social media interest there is when a new product is released. Watch the video from Jony Ive, who is leader of design at Apple.

Read the full story and watch the video here

London Design Festival: the next big five

With the London Design Festival about to kick off, the Guardian writes about the next big five up and coming designers to look out for. Mainly focussed on furniture and fashion product design, but it still showcases some great talents.

Read the full story here

We hope you found these stories interesting. Product design Derby is always on the look out for the latest news and developments in todays society.


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.