Role of Product Design Engineer in Product Development Process
Product Design Engineers play a massive part in ascertaining the goals of a company by conceptualizing, designing, and testing new products. They study and produce fresh ideas and processes for new products and improve the appearance and configuration of existing products. They even take part in overseeing the production and packaging methods of final products.
These people are also essential in formulating manufacturing specifications and presenting design analyses to guarantee that all products meet manufacturing standards and functionality requirements. Incredibly, they can do all of these, but how do they execute it?
There are three significant processes product design engineers take part in for a company to release refined and functional products for consumers.
They create a concept sketch
The first step toward transforming innovative ideas into reality is by immortalizing them on paper. Drawing ideas help in visualizing the prototype in more sweeping detail. While others directly start doing this digitally, it indeed is more efficient to start on paper first. In the early stages of creating a prototype, there will be various designs competing with each other. Drawing these rapidly on paper instead of investing more time perfecting a digital drawing saves time.
A hand-drawn design is one of the most robust possible documentation product design engineers need to provide when the need to defend the patent arises. According to intellectual property advisers, sketches on paper carry a lot more weight in court.
They develop a virtual prototype
When the design reaches its final touches on paper, it will be required to produce a digital sketch. A standard digital design application engineers use is AutoCAD. It allows them to make both 2D and 3D models.
Rendering a rotatable and animated virtual sketch is also part of this process. To visualize a design from all angles and for a photorealistic prototype, tools such as CATIA Live Rendering, Quadro, and NVIDIA Iray are what product design engineers use. These applications make it possible for the approximate physical vision of a design.
They build a physical prototype
One of the final steps of the design process before testing includes building a physical prototype. Building a prototype is not one of the most critical and most challenging processes, but product design engineers have the skills expected to make this possible.
Once the prototype is built, flaws may need to be corrected. It is a costly process, and several prototypes may be required to be made to reach your final goal. After a working prototype is produced, the next step is to apply for a patent.
Even after the hustle and bustle of creating a concept sketch, developing a virtual prototype, and building a physical prototype is done, it does not stop there. Product design engineers secure and ensure that the products will be produced at economical prices and good quality. They even participate in finding reputable manufacturers that can deliver the product they have created at a profitable price without sacrificing functionality and design needs.