When manufacturing products, finding the most efficient path forward is critical. An efficient manufacturing process saves time, money, and stress for everyone. When the product is a piece of furniture, this becomes even more important because each product costs so much more to create.
A small plastic token is cheap to redesign should an error be found, but the same can’t be said for a luxurious solid oak desk. If an entire run of products is spoiled due to a severe manufacturing error, it can be very costly to fix.
On top of this, pressure from other furniture businesses also makes it critical to get products out as fast as possible. While it’s tempting to skip steps to beat others to market, there is actually a method that can help speed up the entire production process while also reducing mistakes. Furniture engineering and design services can help yield an advantage to you, so you can enjoy both speed and accuracy when creating a new product.
Why You Need Furniture Prototyping
With furniture prototyping, a 3D modeling service will create a model of the furniture design to be manufactured. They then use rapid prototyping methods to create and test several different design concepts. These concepts are then quickly scanned for errors, tested, and changes are made based on feedback.
There may be several designs to start with, but they will be winnowed down based on looks, the needs of the business, and consumers’ desires. Once the best design is decided on, the idea can be refined as needed, and the final designs sent out to be manufactured.
Using a freelance prototype design service to create furniture prototypes is fairly popular and for a good reason. It’s a very fast and effective way to get furniture designs through the production process quickly. It’s not just speed and accuracy that makes this method the best—there are a few other benefits as well. Here are a few of those benefits.
Furniture Prototyping Is Cost-Effective
Furniture prototyping would be of little benefit if it were cost-prohibitive. Although furniture prototyping has an initial investment for prototyping, it significantly reduces the overall cost of production.
The first money-saving advantage furniture prototyping has is through the digital copies made of the furniture. Without a furniture design service, companies have to rely on physical models of the product for testing and feedback.
A single piece of furniture can be costly to build, and any changes mean another prototype needs to be built to check and see if the changes work. A 3D model, on the other hand, is easy to change. Changes made to a 3D model also cost less and take much less time for those changes to happen.
Once changes are made to the 3D model to make it look as good as possible, you could 3D print a small example of the piece of furniture. 3D printing is a very cost-effective way to make a sample and gets the idea across without the expense of having the real furniture built. We’ll talk more about 3D printing furniture later.
Together, this leads to fewer mistakes and a cheaper overall process.
It Speeds Up Production
Working with a rapid prototyping service for your new furniture products can also help save time throughout the process. Even the roughest physical mockups take time to produce and having them remade each time a change needs to be made can add weeks to a timeline.
Creating a 3D model of the furniture can save time because changes can be made with a few clicks of a button. These comparatively more straightforward changes can make finding the right style much faster. Designs can be glanced at and sent back for corrections, all within a concise period.
This doesn’t just go for structural changes. The colors, fabrics, and other materials can all be swapped out quickly.
Other mediums, such as ink drawings or mockups, are much slower to produce and more expensive. An ink drawing takes time to create, and if changes need to be made, the entire drawing has to be redone from scratch. The same goes for physical materials, along with the money spent on those materials.
Of all the methods that can be used to prototype, CG has always been the fastest way. What seems like an extra step at first helps save time by avoiding the need to backtrack when things go wrong.
It Allows Room for Innovation
What could you create if time and money were no object? It’s costly to experiment with new creations, and if they don’t pan out, it can mean a loss for the company. The ability to play with design must always be limited by the resources available, but CG allows much more room for creativity.
With unlimited access to materials, colors, and shapes, experimenting with different looks is effortless.
New concepts are essential because furniture stores aren’t already stocked with similar designs. If your design team has a novel idea and is struggling to get the idea on paper, a 3D model of it can help aid in communication between the design team and the manufacturing service.
Avoids Costly Mistakes
Mistakes are an inevitable part of design. A table may end up being too tall for practical application, or it turns out that the colors or materials look awkward together. In some cases, the wrong materials may prove to be dangerous, or a design flaw in support of a chair makes it likely to collapse and injure the user.
These are all examples of possible mistakes that can happen, and when these happen, they can cost in terms of time, money, and reputation. No one wants to be known for making dangerous furniture or ending up late to the game because they had to stop producing a product due to an error.
3D design services can help stop these mistakes before they happen. Furniture designers can run an analysis on CG models to ensure they will perform their tasks appropriately and give you a crystal clear view of what materials and colors look like together.
If it’s obvious something won’t work, the change can be made while the product is still digital—long before it reaches the more expensive manufacturing stage. This also means an edge over the competition. If a competitor is coming out with a similar product at the same time as yours, maximizing efficiency and avoiding mistakes can help get your product in furniture stores before theirs.
One final way rapid prototyping furniture helps avoid mistakes is through clear communication. It’s much easier to get an idea across through a 3D model than it is through words or other communications.
Entire Prototypes Can Be 3D Printed
Another costly part of production is getting a sample piece made to see how it looks. We talked about physical prototypes earlier, and they do have their place. They can be used to show to test groups, to test drawers and other aspects, and to show clients.
A prototype must either be made by hand as a mockup or a small run performed at the design for manufacturing service. Both of these are very costly. An expert woodworker, for example, may need many hours of work to make something appropriate.
Small runs from a manufacturer are also much more expensive than large runs, and time is needed both to make and ship the item. Time lost allows other businesses to get an edge on bringing their products out first, potentially cutting off customer supply.
Once again, a 3D model can help through the use of a 3D printer. While we tend to think of 3D printers as reserved for small plastic items, there are 3D printers that work with a variety of materials, including metal.
Boeing is even developing a plane that can be built entirely from 3D printed parts, showcasing this type of machinery’s versatility. If a plane can be made using only 3D printed parts, furniture can also quickly be done.
Since 3D printed parts don’t have to be shipped from the manufacturer, a physical prototype can quickly and easily be made from the 3D design.
CG rapid prototyping is an excellent strategy for those in the furniture business. By utilizing 3D models as a part of the process, 3D furniture modeling services can test and evaluate new products quickly and efficiently. In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever to avoid making mistakes and to cut costs wherever possible. Rapid prototyping is the best way to do this.
If you’re in the furniture business and are looking for ways to optimize your prototyping process, using 3D models is a good step in that direction. The remarkable efficiency of 3D models is popular in almost every field for similar reasons, and furniture is no different.
If you need assistance creating a prototype of your furniture, look no further than Cad Crowd’s network of 3D modeling services. If you’d like help with a project, get in touch today for a free quote.