The Life of an Industrial Designer: How to Transform Ideas into 3D Prints
For a specific group of people, the ability to iteratively test and retest ideas without breaking the bank or waiting for days to evaluate results is literarily life-saving. And it is no secret that industrial designers fall into this group due to the nature of the work they do.
Therefore, if you happen to run a machining shop, an industrial design hub or you are a freelance creator, then this post is for you.
The benefits of 3D printing have been shouted from the roof tops for a couple of years and I do not need to stretch my imagination to know that you have heard of 3D printing and its advantages.
So, instead of rehashing what you have probably heard and continue to hear on a regular basis, we will be taking a look at specific processes in an industrial production circle. And provide solutions as well as targeted options which can be put to use to eliminate the common problems you face as an industrial designer.
Prototyping Your Own Designs
No man is an island but with emerging technologies, it has become possible for an individual to take an idea from the conceptual stage to the production stage without having to outsource anything.
The ability to do this can prove to be a life-saver for freelance designers or hobbyists looking to regularly churn out work without expending too much capital for each prototype.
Therefore, if you are building your own design studio for prototyping with a rather small budget, then 3D printing is for you as it provides you with great manufacturing options at really affordable prices. It might come as surprise to you that with a budget of $200 or less, you can purchase:
These are fused deposit modelling 3D printer options that produce great work and can serve you for the couple of years your business needs to before it becomes profitable.
Meeting Client Deadlines
As working-class individuals, we all know the anxiety that comes with working within a time-frame due to the various experiences we’ve had. For industrial designers or manufacturing companies, this anxiety is double due to the need to meet your client’s expectations.
Added to this, is the anticipation factor which pushes clients to demand that they see completed ideas as quickly as possible.
If fast turn-around times is a factor you must consider, then there is no better manufacturing process to turn to than additive manufacturing. And I’m sure you already know this.
What you may not know, are the best options available for you to make use of. There are a plethora of options out there but if you basically produce working prototypes, working with the following should help:
These are affordable 3D printers that can create precise and accurate renderings of your conceptual ideas. They also do not consume large amount of energy when put to work thereby reducing your production’s overhead cost.
Enhancing Innovative Designs
The rapidly advancing 3D printing industry will prove to be a boon for the industrial design community if harnessed properly.
One example of this advancements, is the ability to use a wide array of materials—which cannot be used with more traditional manufacturing processes—to create functional 3D objects.
This gives you the opportunity to experiment with materials like the alchemists of old who stumbled upon great innovations while experimenting. Thankfully, the advancements in 3D printing also means that you can purchase affordable 3D printers that can 3D print multiple materials simultaneously.
Here, I am talking about dual extruders that can extrude two different materials while working on a project. Some good options include:
Integrating a dual extruder in your workshop enhances your ability to be versatile as well as gets your creative juices to flow. It is also worth noting that the 3D printers listed above do not over consume energy for they come with certain features that minimize energy use.
Increase the Quality of Your Designs
When designing and manufacturing for commercial use, the quality durability and function of a product must be taken into consideration. This is due to the fact that the success of that product depends not only on your marketing strategy but also on the quality of the product.
Contrary to the train of thought currently making the rounds in the industrial design niche, desktop 3D printers are capable of developing industrial-grade quality products that are functional. But you may have to pay a little bit more.
There are a couple of prosumer grade 3D printers that were built to be used by professionals looking to develop really accurate and durable products. These 3D printers cost above $3,000 in most cases but they deliver great results and can withstand constant use for years. Here are some options to consider:
These prosumer 3D printers were released in 2017 and have proved to be revelations and a great investment for the industrial designers and manufacturing firms that have purchased them.
3D Printing is Tailored to Suit Your Needs
In terms of manufacturing and design, 3D printing offers diverse options for your every production-related need. You can find whatever you are looking to fit your budget as well as the projects you are currently working on.
This is why predictive analyst state that the human race is slowly but surely getting to the fourth industrial age which will be dominated by additive manufacturing.
Therefore, as an industrial designer now is the time to consider adding a 3D printer to your tool shed, workshop or work station and watch how quickly it will grow on you and become an integral part of your creative process.