The cold hard truth is that well-designed products sell, and there are no two ways about it.
Every purchase design made by a consumer is highly probable tied to how well a product is designed. Many global companies like Nike, Google, Apple, and more now have design-led product development processes in place, to stand out from the rest with this new requirement – excellence in design.
In this McKinsey’s October 2018 report, it clearly indicates that companies outperform the average when they focus on the product’s design. So why do not all companies get this right?
Every step of the design process from concept to design iteration to final design approval – communication is always critical so that designs can be reached quickly and be proactive instead of reactive. This is where 3D printing comes into play as it brings designers and executive design-makers on the same page.
Designers always want to explore and test as many alternatives as possible. They would want stake-holders in the company to understand the design intent without the “imagine if” or “it will look like this rendering but without…” The crucial point here is that each envisaged design is the same as what it will turn out when it goes to manufacturing.
Advances in 3D printing mean it is now more cost-effective and time-efficient than ever to make full use of the technology, where designers can simply print hundreds of prototypes in full-color or multiple materials as opposed to sending a single prototype off for hand-painting, or to a 3rd party manufacturer located offshore.
With the time savings afforded by 3D printing, designers can test many more iterations than they can test traditionally. More iterations mean more options – and leads to a more robust design. The ability to iterate quickly and the ease in just iterating the most important elements could be a difference-maker, especially in the ultra-competitive consumer goods market.
Just imagine a scenario that could happen anywhere, when a focus group is held on a Monday morning to gather feedback, iterations are done in the afternoon, 3D printing is carried out overnight, and the group meets again on Tuesday. All these are done in just two days instead of 2 weeks or more without a 3D printer.
When a design is selected after going through the many iterations, the approval stage greatly speeds up if one turns to 3D printing. Design intent can be communicated easily to decision-makers with a high-fidelity 3D printed model, and feedback can be gathered easily along with any refinements that can be done quickly.
With the design of freedom and flexibility afforded by 3D printing, companies can get the product improvements they want at a quicker pace and get products to market faster. One such option for visually appealing concept designs or for low-volume production, is the PANTONE validated Stratasys J750 PolyJet 3D printer, which can do over 500,000 color combinations to unleash endless creativity among designers looking to craft the ideal design.