We all love a well-designed product. Years ago, design was reserved for high-end sports cars or the fashion runway. But today, it is tied into every purchase decision a consumer makes. Products not only must work well, but look great and express who we are as a consumer. The ushering in of design-led product development by companies like Apple, Google, Nike, and Ford has created a new requirement to succeed in today’s consumer goods space: Excellence in design.
Almost everyone would admit they’ve made purchase decisions based on products with better design. McKinsey’s October 2018 report shows companies focusing on design outperform the average. So, if good design equals good business and happy customers - why do some companies get it right and others don’t?
step in the design processes - from ideation and concepting to detailed design
iteration and final design approval - it’s important to communicate clearly
with a broader team and reach decisions quickly. 3D printing can help bring
designers and executive decision-makers into alignment faster.
instance, designers want to test design alternatives early, and have time to
explore ideas before a decision is made. Companies need the real design with
the right color and feel. They’re demanding an ability to communicate about designs
easily with teams from around the world. They want stakeholders to understand
design intent so they don’t have to say, “imagine if” or “it will look just
like the rendering but without the…” Most importantly, each wants the design envisioned
as the one the manufacturing team can produce.
has been helping make designs more real than what you can see on a screen or a
page and - have been much faster than other modeling approaches. But many are
still using 3D printing with single color, thick lines, and hard edges.
Fortunately, 3D printed prototypes
have finally advanced to incorporate fast, accurate, full-color printing that
can be an ideal tool for improving the design process.
printing technology means designers no longer need to carve out of foam or send
a part to be hand painted to achieve realism. Requesting prototypes from
manufactures half the world away and waiting weeks to get it back just isn’t
necessary any more. Advanced consumer goods companies shouldn’t be limited in
the number of prototypes to show internal stakeholders, focus groups, or
retailers. 3D printing today is cost effective and time efficient, enabling
designers to print hundreds of prototypes in full-color and multiple materials
in the time it would take to send a single prototype off for hand painting, or
to a manufacturer located overseas.
just about cost-savings and getting new products to market faster: Today’s design driven companies must find ways
to achieve better designs. Saving time through 3D printing means talented designers
spend more time designing. Printing models early in the concept design phase allows
a designer to test many alternatives, sometimes 5x to 10x the number they can test
traditionally. More design iterations means more design elements to consider.
When good designers consider more options, it usually leads to a more robust
Similarly, 3D printing numerous models during the detailed design stage - exploring options in color, texture, and finish - makes it easier to iterate the most important elements. The ability to quickly iterate to get Voice of Customer alone could be a difference-maker.
Just imagine a scenario
where companies hold a focus group on Monday morning, gathering feedback and
iterating on the design Monday afternoon, 3D printing new models overnight, and
holding a new focus group on Tuesday. This accomplishes in two days what would
have taken two weeks or more without a 3D printer.
design is chosen, the biggest hurdle becomes executive and retailer approval.
The power to cost-effectively give decision-makers multiple high-fidelity
models that look the same is a powerful benefit of 3D printing. Communicating
design intent with a 3D printed model makes it easier to refine great designs
with feedback from others and speeds approval stages.
has forever changed the design process – finally giving companies the
improvements they demand. Tapping into 3D printing, they can now elevate
designs – and get products to market faster.
Begin exploring how 3D printing can transform your business. Learn more about Stratasys solutions for consumer products – today!