The engineering and development of an idea - Business Works
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The engineering and development of an idea

JNDC - jet fan
H ow many of us in our line of work or everyday lives have noticed a problem or identified a need and have an idea to solve it?

New ideas are launched into the marketplace continually. These thoughts can turn into successful products. Depending on the idea, this can prove to be a lengthy expensive process. Initial market research, including a business plan, is vital before plunging into the process of engineering and developing the idea. Only once you are completely satisfied that the business is viable can your quest begin.

Each idea is unique and the development process is adaptable. A general scenario of how the progression could look is as follows:

Initially, the process starts by brainstorming and researching the idea relating to design intent. A general concept design / designs are achieved to give an understanding of the product, usually in the form of photo-realistic renderings. This stage usually reviews the 'top level' technical issues as well as considerations made for the future manufacturing process and material selection.

Then a basic model is produced, to keep costs down, as an initial proof of concept. This explores the basic size, look and feel of the design without simulating the actual function or exact appearance. The objectives are to identify the key points and benefits, as well as identify areas for further development and testing. The model is not designed for an end-user or intended for internal decision-making, but for further assessment.

The first prototype validates the design concept. Here the model will be to full scale, suitable for further testing, market research trails and packaging mock-ups. This stage may not provide the product in final its material, but explores options such as rapid prototyping to keep costs down. As required, any changes can be addressed and implemented.

The next step is to make a fully-functional scaled prototype. This simulates the final design, aesthetics, materials, strengths and functionality of the intended design. Here the model is made using advanced prototyping techniques and materials which replicate strength, colour and texture. This is also the last opportunity to make any major improvements before production. This prototype is ideal for investor presentations and end-user testing trials.

Finally, once manufacturers have been consulted and engineering drawings issued, the first production samples can emerge. Slight changes can still be made, however the product should now be extremely close to the end result before production starts.

Now the really hard work starts: you need to sell your product. Whatever method you use, be it web sites, social networking sites, trade shows, exhibitions, advertisements, editorials etc. this is your time to shine and succeed.

To contact Dean Carran, Design Engineer and Director of JNDC, or more information:

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