Product Design

Overview

I provide innovative product design solutions for the consumer, industrial, medical, scientific, military, and transportation industries. Whether a one-off custom medical device or an electronics enclosure mass-produced in the millions, your project can be seen through any and all stages of design from an initial concept up to manufacturing. I create  designs optimized for function, cost, and aesthetics using a less-is-more philosophy that considers every detail. I am passionate about creating quality, beneficial, and successful products.


CAD

Computer-aided design has revolutionized the way products are designed, with its capabilities increasing each year. I utilize top-of-the-line software and techniques to produce the highest quality results in the most efficient manner, giving my clients the best possible value. I stay up to date with the most effective technologies and techniques to provide highly functional and competitive services.

My primary CAD tool is SolidWorks® Premium 2017, arguably the best and most widely used and recognized CAD package for high-end professional users. I run SolidWorks® on a dedicated, top-of-the-line overclocked and water-cooled BOXX desktop workstation specifically built for this purpose. It is currently the fastest commercially-available computer for SolidWorks® modeling in the world. My experience with SolidWorks® includes four years of formal education and academic use during my mechanical engineering degree studies and full-time professional use since early 2011. I also routinely utilize Adobe® Illustrator®, Autodesk® AutoCAD®, Autodesk® Fusion 360 Ultimate®, Autodesk® Remake®, DS Photoview 360™, and Meshlab™ software. See the Software and Equipment sections near the bottom of the page for more information.

My abilities include, but are not limited to organic shapes, machine parts, complex assemblies, 2D cutting files, files for 3D printing, file conversions, files for manufacturing, 2D to 3D conversion, computer simulations and analysis, parametric modeling, photorealistic rendering, 2D dimensioned drawings, bill of materials, and tolerancing. I am able to import and export essentially any 2D and 3D file type there is. 


Design For Manufacturing (DFM)

 Laser Cutting Sheet Metal Manufacturing Fabricating

I create designs optimized for Injection Molding, Extrusion, CNC Milling, Routing, and Turning, EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining), Laser Cutting, Water Jetting, Swiss Screw, Milling, Lathe, 3D Printing, Punching, Casting, Stamping, Bending, Thermoforming, Laser Marking, Anodizing, Chemical Etching, Welding, Blow Molding, Dip Molding, Routing, and many other manual and automated processes. Considering how a product will be made is an integral part of my design process and not an afterthought. This prevents having a beautiful design that cannot be made and must be completely redone. It also allows production costs to be greatly reduced.


Reverse Engineering and Redesigning

 Measuring inspection probe CNC reverse engineering and re-engineering 3D CAD

Through the use of accurate measuring tools, 3D scanning and/or photographs, I can take an existing product and precisely replicate it as a 3D CAD model. Existing designs can then be modified to your specifications or can be used as a starting point for a new product. The resulting CAD model can then be used for manufacturing, 3D printing, photorealistic renderings, and more. I can also tell you how an existing product was manufactured and provide suggestions on how it can be improved. Whether you need to replicate a rare part for a vintage machine or make modifications to a competitor's product for mass production, I can accurately replicate and modify an existing product. 


Prototyping and 3D Printing

3D-Printing-and-Prototyping

I can bring your product to life with my in-house prototyping capabilities. Physical prototypes and proof of concept models can be an invaluable tool during the design process and also serve to validate a design, allow for testing, and attract investors. They could also be the final product themselves for one-offs and low-volume production.

In addition to the vast array of high-quality 3D printing options I offer, I also take care of other basic prototyping needs with my ever-expanding list of capabilities, including thread-tapping, hole-drilling, cutting, routing, thermoplastic bending, soldering and basic electric circuit assembly, part bonding, surface finishing (sanding, tumbling, chemical vapor treatment), painting and assembly. I stock a large supply of off-the-shelf hardware such as screws, nuts, washers, electrical components, wire, pipe, spacers, magnets, rubber bumpers, adhesives and springs for quick prototype turnaround. I can also source whatever other components you may need.

For prototyping needs I can't take care of in-house, I frequently work with numerous local, domestic and international manufacturers and equipment-sharing partners with additional capabilities. Examples include CNCing, water jet cutting, laser cutting, milling, laser marking, anodizing, welding, injection molding, metal 3D printing, dip molding, punching, bending, and extruding.

3D Printer Info

  • Model: Ultimaker 2 Extended+
  • Huge Usable Build Volume: 223 x 223 x 305 mm (8.8 x 8.8 x 12.0 in)
  • Best Available Resolution: 0.02mm (20 Micron) minimum layer thickness
  • Many material and color options: PLA, ABS, flexible and rubber-like plastics, CPE, nylon, PET, metal-filled, carbon fiber-filled, transparent, glow-in-the-dark, high-temperature plastics, in any color imaginable

Available Materials:

  • PLA {Polylactic Acid): The most common printer material used today. Corn-based, bio-degradable, and unlike other commonly used materials, doesn't give off hazardous fumes while printing. This is the easiest material to print with, and is my go-to for most prints, unless there are reasons to do otherwise. Available in a wide range of colors.
  • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene): Originally the most commonly used 3D printing material, ABS has now fallen out of favor to PLA. However, ABS still has its benefits, including improved strength and flexibility over PLA as well as the ability to be chemically smoothed. 
  • CPE: Similar properties to ABS, but without the harsh fumes.
  • Flexible PLA: Similar to PLA, but formulated in a way that gives it rubber-like characteristics.
  • Nylon: Extra tough and strong for mechanical parts.
  • Exotics: Examples include plastics with metal, wood, or even carbon fiber infills to give different aesthetic or functional properties.

Finishing: Due to the inherent nature of the 3D printing process, which builds up parts one layer at a time, the individual layer lines are typically visible to some degree. This is fine for most purposes, but if you would like, there are a variety of finishing options available (for an additional fee). It is possible to smooth over ABS using an acetone vapor bath. The resulting appearance is smooth and glossy, similar to an injection molded part, and has the added benefit of increasing part strength by better bonding the layers. It is also possible to mechanically tumble any material (think rock tumbler), as long as the part isn't too big or fragile, with a variety of abrasive materials to help smooth out a part. I can also fuse together extra large parts that must be printed in separate batches and paint, cut, drill, tap, and assemble parts.


Computer Simulation and Analysis

Static Force Linear Computer Simulation with SolidWorks Premium

I use SolidWorks Simulation Premium to perform:

  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Static Force, Thermal, Frequency, Buckling, Drop Test, Fatigue, and Pressure Vessel Simulation
  • Linear, Nonlinear, and Linear Dynamic Analysis
  • Motion Analysis
  • Tolerance Stack-Up Analysis
  • Fluid Flow Simulation
  • See the stresses, strains, deflections, deformations, movement, temperature distributions, and failures in your product before spending a dime to build it.
  • Simulations and analysis can be performed on individual components or entire assemblies
  • A blazing-fast overclocked and water-cooled purpose-built 4.8 GHz BOXX workstation and supplementary workstations allow for quick results, high mesh densities, overnight scheduling of consecutive simulations and load-sharing between multiple PCs, so I can provide fast and economical simulation results that don't skimp on accuracy or resolution.

Photorealistic Rendering

Accurately visualize your product without needing to first have a physical model built. Renderings can be used to aid in the design process, entice investors, and create marketing materials. They often can better showcase your product than professional photographs of the real thing, and can be used on your website or as a catalog image.

Photorealistic renderings can be produce once there is a 3D CAD model of your product. The visual properties (material, surface finish, color, etc.) of the different components of your product are individually fine-tuned. The lighting and environmental settings are carefully selected to show off your product. Renderings can be exported as high-resolution images in any image file-type (JPEG, PNG, BMP, etc.). I have the computer power to produce the most accurate and high-resolution images you will ever need. Batches of multiple renderings can be scheduled to run overnight, allowing for quick turnaround times and cost savings.


Feasibility Consulting

Can your envisioned product be manufactured? Is it's intended functionality even possible? The vast majority of new product ideas are never realized, often after a huge amount of time and money has been expended. I can provide the vital information you need to know before heavily investing in a new idea. I can estimate design costs, prototype costs, and manufacturing costs as well as tell you if your desired product is functionally possible. I can provide solutions you have not considered and help determine the best way to proceed. Identify risks and choose the most promising direction early on. This could easily be your biggest ROI.

Get an opinion from someone who hears thousands of new product ideas every year and has seen what is successful and what flops. In just an hour, I can provide you with initial direction, potentially saving you thousands. I won't hold back ideas. If I see any flaws or major obstacles that will need to be overcome, I will be brutally honest with you.

Send me any relevant info pertaining to your product and we can schedule a time to talk. I will review your idea before our discussion, do any necessary research, look for challenges, and brainstorm ideas. We will then have a meeting where I can try to answer any questions you may have, give my opinion on the idea, suggest manufacturing methods, give cost estimates, etc. Pricing starts at $100 for a one-hour meeting (and prior review of your provided information).


Environmental Temperature Chamber Testing

 Environmental Temperature Chamber Testing with Thermocouples

Test the real-world temperature performance of your product using a high-end temperature chamber and data acquisition tools. 

 TestEquity 107 Temperature Chamber

TestEquity 107 Temperature Chamber

TestEquity 107 Benchtop Temperature Chamber with Data Logging

  • -42°C to +130°C Temperature Range
  • Control Tolerance: ±0.5°C (±0.2°C Typical)
  • Uniformity: ±1.0°C
  • Heat Up Transition Time (empty): 8.5°C/minute typical
  • Inside Dimensions: 12" W x 9" H x 11.25" D, 0.7 cubic feet (305 x 229 x 288 mm, 20 liters)
  • Modified DUT (Device-Under-Test) DUT Sensor Option
  • Fluke 2638A Hydra Series III Data Acquisition System with up to 20 Thermocouples
  • Wireless temperature and humidity data logging inside the chamber
  • Agilent/Keysight Power Supplies
  • Industries covered:
    • Commercial: 0 ºC to +70 ºC or 0 ºC to +85 ºC (CommercialPlus™)
    • Industrial -40 ºC to +85 ºC or -40 ºC to +100 ºC (IndustrialPlus™)
    • Automotive: -40 ºC to +125 º
    • Extended: -40 ºC to +125 ºC

  

 Fluke 2638A Hydra Series III Data Acquisition System

Fluke 2638A Hydra Series III Data Acquisition System

Thermal stress testing, thermal shock testing, temperature cycling


My Tools

 Mitutoyo Digital Micrometer - part of my collection of precision measuring tools

Using the best design tools can make a big difference in results and efficiency (assuming they are used correctly). Through my years of experiences, I have carefully selected (and learned) the best equipment and software to integrate into my design process. 

Equipment

I utilize high-quality tools to help produce high-quality results in an efficient manner. My ever-growing design, prototyping, and testing equipment list includes a high-powered computer workstation, precision measuring tools, electrical design and fabrication tools, 3D printing equipment, and other fabricating tools.

Computing
To make the most of top-of-the-line software, you need top-of-the-line hardware. I utilize a performance-optimized, custom-built and designed in USA BOXX APEXX 2 2403 workstation with an overclocked and water-cooled 4.8 GHz Intel® processor, 64 GB RAM, M.2 PCIe SSDs, and professional-level graphics. For multitasking and shared rendering and simulations I also have a Dell Precision workstation with a high-speed CPU, tons of memory, solid state drives, and professional-level graphics.  I have Apple machines to compliment my workstation. To optimize my efficiency I use time-saving and ergonomic peripherals, including 3x 24" Dell UltraSharp displays, a 3Dconnexion 3D controller, a trackball mouse, custom-programmed hotkey input devices, and sit/stand desk.

Precision Measuring
A highly-functional collection of precision measuring instruments including digital calipers, digital micrometers, angle measuring tools, screw pitch gauges, hole depth gauges, feeler gauges, squares, and precision rulers from industry-leading brands like Mitutoyo and Starrett. I have the capability of repeatedly measuring with an accuracy and resolution of 0.00005 inch (0.001 mm).

Electrical
Many products these days have at least some electrical features. Electronics aren't my specialty, but I have the skills and tools to get many simpler jobs efficiently and effectively completed without the need to bring in additional personnel. For more involved work, I know when to utilize outside, professional help.
Tools include:
Fluke 87V Industrial Multimeter
Fluke 325 True RMS AC/DC Clamp Meter
 Hakko FX-888D Digital Soldering Station
An inventory of commonly-used electrical components to cover most basic electrical prototyping needs, including power supplies, breadboards, resistors, capacitors, thermistors, diodes, LEDs, buzzers, wire, connectors, soldering tools and consumables, switches, buttons, Arduino microcontrollers, and heat-shrink tubing.

3D Printing
Ultimaker 2+ Extended 3D printer
Custom designed humidity-controlled filament storage and feeding system
A huge inventory of 3D printing filaments (materials)

Fabricating
Taps, dies, drills, deburring tools, cutting, drill press, grinders, rotary tools, router, metal saws, miter saw, sewing machine, plastic bending, etc.

3D Scanning, Photogrammetry, and Photography
Professional imaging equipment with a diverse collection of cameras, lenses, lighting solutions, and accessories.

Software

 Software

Today's design software is an order of magnitude more powerful than that used in the not-so-distant past. I utilize top-of-the-line software that I have carefully selected throughout my years of experience, with SolidWorks® being my primary design tool. But using sophisticated software means nothing if you don't know how to harness it's capabilities. This is where I shine. I am intimately familiar with each program I choose to use and have invested the time in properly learning my tools. I have been using SolidWorks® since day one of my engineering education, and have been a full-time professional user of the software for the past six years.

My frequently used design software:

  • Adobe® Creative Cloud® suite, including:
    • Adobe® Acrobat® Pro DC PDF editing software
    • Adobe® Illustrator® CC vector graphics editing software
    • Adobe® Lightroom® CC photo editing software
    • Adobe® Photoshop® CC raster graphics editing software
  • Autodesk® AutoCAD® 3D CAD software
  • Autodesk® Fusion 360® 3D CAD software
  • Autodesk® Remake® 3D scan processing software
  • Cura 3D printing software
  • Meshlab™ 3D mesh processing software
  • Microsoft Office (Visio, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • SolidWorks® Premium 2017 solid-modeling 3D CAD software, including the following add-ins:
    • Autotrace
    • CircuitWorks™
    • eDrawings™
    • FeatureWorks™
    • PhotoView 360™ photorealistic rendering software
    • ScanTo3D™
    • SolidWorks® Composer™
    • SolidWorks® Design Checker
    • SolidWorks® Electrical
    • SolidWorks® Flow Simulation 2017
    • SolidWorks® Inspection
    • SolidWorks® Motion
    • SolidWorks® PCB 2017
    • SolidWorks® Plastics
    • SolidWorks® Routing
    • SolidWorks® Simulation
    • SolidWorks® Task Scheduler
    • SolidWorks® Toolbox
    • SolidWorks® Utilities
    • SolidWorks® Visualize photorealistic rendering suite
    • TolAnalyst™
  • Solveering™ LLC InStep file conversion software

Thinking of patenting your new product? If I have already created a CAD model for you, you are in a prime position to take advantage of my professional patent drawing services. Benefits include reduced prices, faster turnaround time, and drawings that are perfectly consistent with your product.