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Your car, laptop, smartphone, and clothes were not only designed to serve a purpose. They were produced with their manufacturability in mind. Each part and component that makes up these items was added intentionally. They aid in the construction and production of the object itself. This concept represents the design for manufacturability (DFM) process. A model may look aesthetically pleasing, but it may not be efficient when it comes to the actual process of manufacturing. DFM is essential to the production process. It is crucial to design a product with an idea of how it can be effectively replicated. 

DFM ties into a costly and time-consuming process: manufacturing. Production is pivotal to companies small and large. Here are some stats, gathered by the National Association of Manufacturers, that reveal the part manufacturing plays in the economy as well as companies:

  • For every dollar spent on manufacturing, another $1.82 is added to the economy.
  • The majority of manufacturing firms in the United States are small (fewer than 500 employees).
  • Manufacturers perform 63 percent of private-sector R&D.
  • World trade in manufactured goods has doubled.

Manufacturing is an integral part of economies and businesses all across the world and the key to aiding the success of this industry is designing products that can be easily mass-produced.

We understand your company has a lot to handle when you decide to prepare a product for mass production. Determining the budget for manufacturing and managing the process as a whole can be a challenge. Our team at Cad Crowd specializes in helping entrepreneurs and business owners walk through the process of finding an excellent designer who can make DFM a priority for your company.

For a decade, the Cad Crowd platform has helped entrepreneurs find talented, experienced, and affordable design talent. We want to help you do the same. For a more in-depth look into DFM services and how our team can help you realize its benefits, keep reading.

How designers can be an asset to the DFM process

Again, DFM is the process of designing a product for how it can be efficiently manufactured. This system can bring a variety of benefits to your company and the production process as a whole. However, before you begin adding DFM to the to-do list, you need to find a designer who knows how to blend engineering with design. Here are the ways an experienced CAD designer can—and should be—an asset during the DFM process:

Helping you think through production—How large is the production process? Are you creating a product for mass production or is it a small run? A designer can ask these questions to get a feel for how your product should be designed and the components that should be used for each scenario to aid in the efficiency of production.

Determining materials—Designers have to take into account the production as well as the materials and parts used during the construction process. They can work with you to determine the materials you prefer to use and offer up suggestions for building components that make the production move smoothly and quickly.

Taking the production schedule into account—How long do you have before you have to go from concept to production? Are there any factors that can alter the production itself? Understanding any budget and scheduling constraints can help the designer develop a product design that can overcome these limitations.

Addressing quality control concerns—How will your team monitor the quality of the product? What is the process of managing quality and fixing any potential mistakes? It is crucial to fill a designer in on this so they can ensure that the design of the product adheres to these processes.

A designer can help you walk through the entire production process, from concept to completion. However, before you begin preparing for DFM, you first have to find a talented designer who has experience in understanding how design, engineering, and logistical thinking come into play. This step is where the team at Cad Crowd comes into the picture.

Our goal is to ensure you are thinking about the logistics of manufacturing at every stage of the design process. This step should start as soon as your product concept comes to mind. Fortunately, we have a global network of designers who can help you plan for the details of the production cycle. Each of our designers has an area of expertise. This group includes design professionals who are experienced in providing DFM services.

For a look at our platform of designers, we invite you to visit our How It Works page. There you can get a view of the steps we can help you through as you search for a designer who is a good fit for your next DFM project.

The benefits of design for manufacturability for your business

Your business stands to benefit when it makes the DFM process a priority. Creating a product with manufacturing and production efficiency in mind is an excellent way to not only save costs but to save on time. Here are a few more specific reasons why you should invest in DFM, and hire a designer to manage the process:

Saves money—What happens if you can limit the number of components in a product, or reduce the overall production time? You save costs and increase your margins. You may have an excellent product idea. However, a designer can take that idea and design it so that you can more easily produce it. By being more efficient in planning for manufacturing, you are automatically freeing up your capital. Approximately 95 percent of the production costs occur at the design stage. Having a savvy designer can help you overcome some of these costs in the long run.

Increased innovation—Limitations and constraints breed innovation. They allow you and your team to think outside the box. The process of manufacturing is a limitation. Fortunately, an experienced designer can see this as an opportunity to innovate. They might suggest using materials or project management ideas you would never have thought of if you were not practicing DFM.

Increases a company's competitive advantage—When you are not bogged down in complex supply chains or challenging production cycles, it frees you and your team up to do two things. First, the time you save from efficient processes frees you and your team up to handle your core business process. Second, your company is in a better position to be agile and to address the rapidly changing pace of your industry. Simple product designs make it easy or you to compete and switch courses when necessary. Today's customers expect companies to be responsive. DFM allows you to do that.

Reduce waste—When you cut materials and products you no longer need, you save money and reduce waste. Managing waste is a costly process in and of itself. It is estimated that companies produce 7.6 billion tons of industrial waste a year. Not only does this cause companies to have to spend time figuring out how to handle waste, but it also puts a strain on the environment. DFM diminishes this problem and causes your team only to use what they need while reducing the produced wastes.

Increase production volume—If you can produce products more efficiently, you can likely increase the production volume. This situation directly increases the amount of revenue you and your company can take in. At its core, DFM makes mass production much easier and straightforward, which puts you in a position to take on more orders and meet demand.

Reduce the shipping cycle—The production process intertwines with shipping. The faster and simpler your production cycles are, the less chance of your products experiencing shipping delays. This scenario has enormous implications on customer satisfaction as well as your billing and invoicing cycle. Again, much of the manufacturing process comes back to how well you designed a product for production.

Production begins with design—Being intentional about the materials and processes used to develop a product can benefit you and your company in the short and long-term. A designer can help you not only develop a straightforward design, but they can also walk you through the process of creating a better production system.

Manufacturing can be costly and time-consuming—As a result, the amount of time you put toward creating a mass-produced product will directly impact everything else that depends on it. Your shipping times diminish, customers are more satisfied, and you are more competitive with other companies in your industry.

Many of our designers specialize in helping companies achieve a balance between aesthetics, functionality, and efficiency. Our team wants to help you benefit from the process of DFM. You no longer have to deal with bloated production cycles or costly manufacturing errors. We invite you to allow a Cad Crowd designer to help you avoid these pitfalls.

The design for manufacturability process

So, we know the benefits of DFM services and how a designer can specifically help. However, it helps to discuss the actual process a designer can walk you through how a product can be designed to move smoothly through production. Understanding the technical operation of planning for manufacturing enables you to work with your designer more efficiently. These are even ideas you can keep in mind as you begin to develop product concepts.

Take a look at the processes for incorporating DFM:

Part elimination—A designer will likely look at your original concept or prototype and see if there is a way to eliminate parts. You can think of it as "editing" the object itself. They will study how the parts interact with one another as well as if the elements can be combined. They will also study how all the components move together. They want to see, theoretically, the minimum number of parts that a product needs for full functionality.

Balancing specifications and fabrications—The designer has to understand the preferred specifications, but they also need to reconcile these needs with ease of fabrication. This step is where advanced knowledge of engineering and current manufacturing processes will come into play. Can the specification and corresponding part be easily fabricated on a current manufacturing system, or does it need to be altered? The goal is to reduce processing time while still ensuring the product meets the original objectives.

Communication—Your entire team needs to understand why they made specific alteration suggestions. A savvy designer will speak with you and any members of the engineering team to discuss better machine utilization and to consider dropping any particular design components that would require additional tools.

Seeing where common parts can be used—Using common parts and materials reduces inventory. It allows you to more easily acquire the parts you frequently use in other similar products. Also, it is highly likely that your staff have worked with assembling products using these elements, which can reduce mistakes and speed up manufacturing.

Designing for actual manufacturing processes—This one gets a bit deeper into engineering. Not only will a designer develop the product design itself, but they will also create drawings that outline the entire manufacturing process. For example, the drafts will include a look at how parts are oriented or moved around within the machinery. This process will help them to weed out any parts that could become tangled, require additional machinery movements, or are not a manageable size and shape.

Designing for automation—Today, automation is probably just as widely—if not more—used for manufacturing. DFM is even more critical for automation because there is less flexibility in the design process when compared with manual assembly. Automated machines may not have the capability to handle a variety of particular actions or customized movements. Therefore, designers have to be intentional in the types of parts they suggest using to coincide with the procedures of an automated manufacturing system.

Considering modular design—Can your product benefit from modular design? Modular design is becoming more popular as a way to streamline manufacturing. Modular design can reduce learning curves, decrease production times, and even better facilitate outsourcing. It also simplifies the customization of modules used for a product. A designer can take a look at your design and determine how a modular design strategy can improve your manufacturing processes.

When it comes to manufacturing, design can either make or break the process. The designer you choose can help you develop a product design that reduces cost, saves labor time, and improves the quality of the product itself. 

Also, a savvy designer will have the capability to blend their knowledge of engineering and design to create a product that meets your customer's expectations and moves through the assembly process smoothly.

We want to help you begin the first step in this process, finding the designer who can walk you through each of the methods mentioned in this section. Whether you need to diminish parts, design for automation, or consider modular design, an experienced designer can handle the DFM process for you. 

When it comes to getting your product mass-produced, you have a lot to manage. Fortunately, the Cad Crowd designer hiring process doesn't have to be a situation you have to handle alone. If you need someone to help you cut production cost, or bring more efficiency to the manufacturing process, we encourage you to take a look at our platform and see how we can help.

What you can expect when working with a Cad Crowd designer

Again, manufacturing can be a huge line item on your budget. From selecting the right materials to preparing for automated assembly, much can go wrong. However, preparing for manufacturing can and should start with DFM services. Before you send anything to assembly or even build a prototype, consulting a designer is one of the best ways you can reduce your costs.

For over a decade, we have helped business owners add efficiency to their business processes with design. Nowhere is this more required than in the production of your next product. So, here is what you can expect when you begin the DFM process with a Cad Crowd designer:

Sound suggestions—Our team doesn't need sophisticated drafts or concepts from you to start the process. All we need are your specifications, expectations, and ideas. Our team members can take unfinished drafts, sketches, and your goals and deliver sound suggestions and ideas to support your next steps. Our designers are ready to do the heavy lifting so you can get your needs met.

The freedom to focus on your product—When you have a designer who is paying attention to the efficiency surrounding your product, you no longer have to have the burden of determining ways to cut costs or improve the design of your product. A capable designer can handle this, so you can go back to working on strategies that will promote what you are offering to the masses.

Accuracy and precision—We offer an Accuracy Guarantee for each of our designs. An accuracy guarantee is our refund and revision policy that ensures you either receive the design help you need, or a refund if we do not meet your expectations. We want you to get what you need, and our designers—in combination with the policy—will ensure you get precise and accurate designs that meet your specifications.

Pre-vetted talent—We don't just invite anyone to work on the Cad Crowd platform. Each designer is pre-vetted by our in-house team of designers and engineers. When we determine if a designer is a good fit, we are keeping the needs of entrepreneurs in mind. This situation diminishes the amount of work you have to do to determine if someone is the right fit for your next DFM project. You no longer need to comb through hundreds of resumes or conduct multiple interviews. Our team has already done the leg work so that you can feel confident that you are selecting a designer who is ready to hit the ground running.

Affordability—You will not break the bank when working with a Cad Crowd designer. Instead of having to pay a high annual salary—in addition to other hiring costs–with a full-time designer, you can significantly save money with a freelance designer. You only will pay for the actual work done. Also, the very nature of the gig economy allows you and your freelancer to determine a mutually beneficial wage.

There are a variety of advantages to working with a designer from the Cad Crowd platform. Ultimately, we want you to meet your business goals and save time and money while doing it. Manufacturing can involve many complexities, and you want to work with someone who knows exactly what they're doing. So, it is crucial to have a design professional who has a good grasp of engineering and can take what they know and customize your design to produce a product at a reduced cost.

Our team is ready to help you find a designer who is the right fit for your needs. We know you have a lot on your plate, and we can take the worry of manufacturing off of it. So, here are a few things you can do to get started: Be sure to check out our How it Works page if you haven't already, so you can get a better idea of how we help to connect entrepreneurs with our capable group of designers.

Next, have a look at our Services page, we offer a wide variety of design services related to manufacturing and engineering. You may want to add an additional service to your DFM order. Lastly, if you are ready to get started today, we invite you to reach out to us for a free quote. Manufacturing can be hard; however, finding a designer to design for it doesn't have to be.

Cad Crowd's DFM services can help with any manufacturing project

At Cad Crowd, we have the privilege of working with some of the best product designers in the world. Our network of professionals has worked with plenty of top-tier clients. If you want to ensure your product is designed for manufacturing, get a free quote today.

Brands we've worked with

Tupperware
Yale University School of Medicine
Tiffany & Co.
CNOOC Limited
The Boston Consulting Group

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