What Does This Button Do?
Aug30

What Does This Button Do?

Dee Dee, the pesky older sister of boy genius Dexter in the Cartoon Network’s Dexter’s Laboratory would often sneak into her brother’s hidden laboratory and cause havoc by uttering “What does this button do?” and then finding out. How often do you explore all the options of your design software? Sure, you took some classes and attended the advanced training, but how often to you change the settings and let yourself make those valuable learning mistakes? Do you have stories to share of how experimenting with the software or making mistakes led to advancements in your own development? Add them to the comments...

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Flickr: 3D Print Failures
Aug30

Flickr: 3D Print Failures

It isn’t odd that there would be 3-D printing failures. 3-D printing, like any other prototyping is designed to identify flaws. What is odd is that there is a Flickr site to showcase some of the more humorous mistakes. Enjoy! http://www.flickr.com/groups/3d-print-failures/  

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Prototype Construction
Aug23

Prototype Construction

There are several options for translating a virtual or non-functional prototype into a functional product prototype.  The prototyping method a company chooses for their product will depend on the audience, purpose and budget.  Best results are achieved by a complementary partnership between the product’s parent company and a team of outside experts.  The knowledge of an expert team will supplement your company’s goals with the skill and experience needed to complete the project in a timely and affordable manor. Ideally a series of virtually engineered designs, on CAD or other software, will precede the functional prototyping process.  In cases where an previous prototype exists and there are no digital data for the design it is possible to scan the item and repair the design.  In this scenario it is important to consult an expert to see what the best solution is. This is a comprehensive list of functional prototype creation methods: Selective Laser Sintering These prototypes are made of strong, durable polyamide material that allows for a broad range of functional testing. Typical Uses: Snap fits; working hinges; lighting elements, ventilation systems, high thermal loads (with glass filling); and many others Vacuum Casting These prototypes are ideally used for functional plastic prototypes, in quantities less than 20. With a vast selection of materials to choose from, including various polyurethanes, allow these prototypes to be used for functional testing in various conditions. Tooling in Aluminum Molds Aluminum tooling is great for rapid and cost effective production of quality components.  Other mold tools can take a minimum of 3 months to deliver; subsequently traditional injection molding can be extremely expensive and time consuming.  With the speed and reasonable costs of aluminum molds designers can experiment and produce more products inventive.  By using aluminum mold tools it is easy to create a fully functional prototype in the materials for manufacture without excessive cost.  Due to current Aluminum grades and strength, this type of mold can produce between 100,000 and 1,000,000. RIM (Reaction Injection Molding) This method produces premium quality plastic parts with a short lead-time.  RIM is ideal for large components in quantities of 10 to 2000.  The process uses low pressure injection technology.  RIM molding is used often in the car industry because of its quality and...

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What is Prototyping?
Aug20

What is Prototyping?

Prototyping is an integral step in successful product development and commercialization.  There are several prototyping methods and practices to consider; understanding the options before making any decisions will help you to minimize cost and reduce time-to-market.

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Improving an Existing Product
Aug08

Improving an Existing Product

Developing the next generation of a product can be daunting for a company already operating at full capacity.  DCI Engineering has experience analyzing existing designs to identify necessary improvements for next generation products.  The strategic prototyping process employed by DCI  minimizes the total cost of  product development by optimizing production processes for cost reduction, while maintaining high build quality.  Partnering with the experts at DCI ensures that all design and prototyping needs will be met for rapid completion of an improved next generation product. EMC Corporation is a leading global technology company that develops, delivers, and supports information infrastructure and  technologies and solutions.  They were under strict time constraints to due a predetermined global launch date.  They asked DCI to improve the design for manufacturing, reducing the unit cost, adding features, and preparing it for  scaled manufacturing.  The project was completed before the deadline, exceeding EMC Corporation’s expectations in terms of quality and cost. Having a 100% secure environment is paramount in order to protect intellectual property.  DCI works with each company to ensure that all documentation regarding ownership is filed in a timely and complete manner.  DCI operates in a high security location in Massachusetts and all information stays onsite.  You can be assured that your ideas, the minute they are share with DCI, are protected by a team of knowledgeable data security...

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