How do develop machine parts more effectively


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While 3D Printers have been perceived as the next big thing in product manufacturing in recent years, their role is less prominent today. It has simply become «one of» along with other tools at the engineer’s disposal. And the true innovation is in the steady development of all these tools as well as manufacturing practices.

The development stage of mechanical engineeringis much more important than manufacturing itself. For example, just one week of development can separate a cheap and reliable product from a sink of the company’s money and resources. Below, let us review some of the most effective and innovative approaches to product development.

A necessary habit for a developing company

A good company must seek changes constantly. And not for the changes’ sake, but to manufacture the best products on the market. This and only this approach will lead to long-term profits. Chasing market trends blindly or using cheap materials can make the graphs go up, but for a very limited time window. To change a workflow is to change the foundation profits lie on.

Prototyping is the most accessible tool at your disposal as a mechanical engineer. As a development office leader, it is important to assign some of the more talented and experienced people to this task. By developing new products even when the project does not demand them, you can get find a solution for the problems at present. Not only that, but the fact engineers have not been pushed by the project deadline can push them in the direction of unexpected discoveries.

One of the more interesting implications of this approach is the changes you can make to a chosen manufacturing process. For example, by lowering the minimum order quantity, you can open yourself to a wider range of customers. There are three main approaches to this problem:

  • make changes to a project model;
  • choose a different manufacturing process;
  • make upfront costs higher.

Speaking of manufacturing processes, an example would be comparing 3D printing, machined parts, and plastic injection. Printing does not require anything aside from the 3D model and plastic. Its printing speed is yet to be desired, which makes it an ideal solution for creating complex designs in low quantities.

Machined parts, on the other hand, have the lowest production cost and time. Metal is deformed under various types of pressure. The main drawback of this method is the upfront cost.

Plastic injections in a middle ground between the aforementioned examples. Hot liquid plastic is injected into the mold. The latter is the main drawback of this method, as the quality of the molds can affect multiple parts made with this manufacturing method.

Why it is important

Switching this one-chain link in your development process can save hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the difference in materials used and various transportation means. Do not be afraid to draft multiple plans. Take your time before approving any new part for mass production. And do not forget to check out the innovative products, they are shaping the future all of us will live in.