All of the products we use daily started in the same place – as an idea. But, where do you start if you’ve got an idea but have no idea on how to turn it into a product? Read on to find out.
OK, let’s say you have an idea for a new widget that will reshape speakers and the way people listen to music for years to come. You’ve done your initial research and have a good understanding of:
- Who needs your product
- Why do people need it?
- What your competition looks like
Importantly, you’ve also got your intellectual property secured through copyright, trademarks, and patents.
Now it’s time to turn your idea into a prototype, and here at Axiom, we take pride in having a product development focus which is strong in design and innovation.
Our approach can help you:
- Develop your idea
- Design your product, or advise on how best to design it
- Produce a prototype of your product by 3D printing or another suitable process
- Manufacture your product through plastic injection moulding or CNC machining
If we can’t manufacture in-house we can advise you on the best process to use for the manufacture of your product.
Get your prototype into shape
Your prototype is the first step in taking an iterative and agile approach to product development. It’s a way to prove your concept and get potential customers and investors interested.
But, before you get too far ahead of yourself, you need to bring it to life with a CAD – computer-aided design – drawing of your product in 3D. This will give you a high-quality design that can be easily amended and makes the transition to a real-life object smoother.
If you already have a design in place, fantastic. We can take it from there. If not, our friendly and experienced design team can help you out.
Once designed, you need your prototype, which we can get 3D printed for you. Then it’s time to move on to making the product through injection moulding or CNC machining.
Plastic injection moulding
Plastic injection moulding involves melting plastic pellets until they’re in a moldable state. They’re then pressure injected into a mould cavity, which fills and solidifies to create your prototype.
Injection moulding can create a wide variety of products. Here are just a few examples:
- Remote control casings
- Phone cases
- Electrical enclosures
- Children’s toys
This list goes on and on. Most things made from plastic can be done so through injection moulding.
Plastic injection moulding benefits:
- Fast production
- Complex designs are achievable
- High-quality with a strong end product
- Flexible design and colour
- Reduced waste
CNC machining cuts through solid blocks of materials to create a custom-designed shape.
A vast and varied range of products are made through CNC machining such as:
- Billet machined bike parts
- Automotive compononts
- Racecar parts
Advantages of CNC machining:
- Fast and cost-effective
- Little waste
- Zero defects through greater accuracy
- You can scale up
- Lower production costs
To learn more about how the process can help you and your business, read our blog, What is CNC machining?.
Prototyping in action
A mudguard we designed for SicoMTB Products is a great example of what can be achieved.
SicoMTB Products contacted us and asked for support in producing a mudguard that could act as a traditional mudguard while also diverting water and dirt away from the electric motor housing.
Throw in a few more complications like lack of space, and a highly complex solution was required.
To achieve this, our experienced design, engineering and machining team went back to basics by:
- 3D scanning the bike to precisely replicate its geometry
- Simulate the suspension travel when riding on rough terrain
- Designed a shape to fit the space – some clever design features addressed each challenge
- 3D printed a prototype – produced for comprehensive testing
- Made final design adjustments based on the results before moving the product onto the next stage
- CNC machined the initial prototype tooling using epoxy blocks on one of the in-house three-axis machines
- Worked with a vacuum forming specialist to produce the final two-piece, innovative mudguard solution, the DualGuard
Are you ready to design and produce your product?
If you are looking to build a product or are curious about the process, hopefully, we’ve given you a good idea of what’s involved and how we can help. Speak with an Axiom expert to get started building your product today.