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The Future Of Making

Three Ways to Inspire Your Product Design Team

Inspire your product design team to boost innovation

Your product design team is an innovation engine, bringing a multitude of benefits to your organization. From inception to delivery, this team plays a vital role across your product development lifecycle. For example, a product design team can help identify a market opportunity, define the problem that needs to be resolved, develop a solution to that problem and validate the solution with real users. As a result, the organization can create breakthrough products that beat the competition, boosting sales and increasing margins across the business.

Innovation, however, doesn’t happen overnight. Your product design team needs the right guidance to invent novel solutions to address user needs. However, many executives struggle to understand exactly how to boost innovation within such teams. This post addresses all of these issues in greater detail and identifies three ways to inspire your product design team.

1 - Explore More

Many engineers don’t have time to iterate across multiple designs. Therefore, the first feasible design is often the one accepted. Engineers often settle for the first option that works because product design teams must work under increasingly tight time constraints. What’s more, many engineers have substantial backlogs of work, which they are continually trying to offload. However, organizations are always looking for ways to accelerate their product development lifecycles while enabling innovation. But expediting innovation under the aforementioned time constraints of your product design team is a tricky balancing act.

Generative design expands your ability to deliver innovative design.

Generative design provides a viable method to achieve this. It combines human-generated design inputs with artificial intelligence to autonomously create a vast range of potential design iterations. Consequently, generative design is highly effective from both a time and cost standpoint. Because organizations build simulation and testing into the design process from an early stage, they avoid expensive manufacturing reworks further down the line. Engineers can not only improve their productivity but also increase their creativity. The machine learning algorithms generate unconventional designs, some of which may be inconceivable to human designers. Thanks to these productivity and creativity improvements, your product design team can now spend time investigating these different design iterations. Engineers no longer need to opt for the first feasible design option. So, by automating the creation of designs, your product design team is now free to innovate and create breakthrough products for the organization.

2 - Free Your Design

Traditional manufacturing processes are highly constrained, inefficient, and effort-intensive, preventing your product design team from reaching its full potential. For example, the majority of today’s production procedures are subtractive, removing material to create the desired shape. This method is an inefficient process in terms of material waste. Moreover, these traditional processes also have high overheads thanks to the cost of the tooling. Consequently, engineers need to mitigate these high costs and often opt for mass manufacturing to provide the necessary economies of scale. However, this leaves no room for customization in the production process.

Additive manufacturing allows engineers to sidestep restrictions and to create complex geometries.

Additive manufacturing allows engineers to sidestep all of these restrictions. It can create complex geometries that may not be possible to manufacture using traditional techniques. It also wastes less material. What’s more, additive manufacturing eliminates the additional costs usually associated with creating complex objects since the manufacturing process is identical, regardless of the complexity of the part. Additive manufacturing does not require expensive tooling, either. Instead, a single device can handle all aspects of the creation process. As a result, additive manufacturing lowers the barriers to entry. It lets organizations of any size prototype and produce products using a single piece of equipment, rather than commissioning an entire production facility. Mass customization replaces mass production, allowing your product design team to create personalized products for customers, adding value, and creating a tailored user experience.

3 - Offload Time-Wasting Tasks

Many of the day-to-day activities that product design team members carry out are not worth their precious time. If they must waste time completing repetitive and mundane tasks, then they are not free to innovate. Manually consolidating design feedback is one such labor-intensive task. Here, an engineer traditionally sends out short surveys, provides clients with feedback guidelines, collates that information, and asks for feedback at various stages of the design process. However, cloud-based CAD tools can automate many of these tasks, allowing your engineers to simultaneously access input from many individuals and at various stages of the design process. As a result, your product design team can manage product data and work together on a centralized platform to gather and analyze feedback.

Cloud-based CAD tools allow your engineers to simultaneously access input from many individuals.

Most cloud-based CAD tools also allow product design teams to track the latest updates, comments, and design changes, helping to monitor your project and keep it on course. Keeping up to speed on changes helps eliminate the manual management of designs for your product design team, removing the need for them to track files and design configurations on their desktops. As a result, engineers can search, filter, and find product data across different design models and files. They can also track the latest changes made to your CAD models and project documents. These are essential features as they reduce the likelihood of errors creeping into the design process. Plus, your product design team members can access projects from their mobile devices, allowing them to work from anywhere. As a result, these cloud-based CAD tools not only let your product design team members track every change made to design and the relevant feedback, but they are also free to focus on the design too.

Summary

Your product design team drives innovation for your organization by creating breakthrough products to outstrip the competition and boost profits, but it is often difficult for execs to inspire these teams.

Generative design automates the creation of designs and can boost productivity for your product design team, while also providing team members with a broader range of designs to choose from so they are free to innovate.

Additive manufacturing frees your product design team from many of the design and operational constraints of traditional manufacturing processes. Mass customization and complex geometries can both be realized, for example.

Cloud-based CAD tools can help your product design team consolidate feedback and eliminate manual management on its designs. This allows your team to retain focus on the design and boosts communication across the organization.

Generative Design accelerates your product development process

Expand your ability to deliver innovative design and engineering solutions. The generative design process takes manufacturing into account early in the design stage of the development process so you can get to market faster.

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