What is industrial design?
Industrial design is concerned with of bridging social needs, technical constraints, and manufacturing opportunities. The requirements below are used by research + DESIGN to balance these often competing factors during product development.
- General product category:
Broad product categorisation and framing are used as starting points to understand client assumptions and user ideals.
- General operating environment:
The physical environment in which the product functions provides both design reference material and operational constraints.
- Ergonomic considerations:
Ergonomic datasets inform design decisions when a user manipulates a product in areas ranging from grip, to force, to strain.
- Anthropometric considerations:
Anthropometric data informs environmental design decisions that impact on the user in areas such as pathways, reach, and viewpoint.
- Frequency/duration of usage:
The frequency and duration of use helps establish design options, product durability expectations, and safe usage.
- Product dimension:
The width, length, and height of the product should be taken into account during product usage, storage, and transport.
- Product weight:
The weight of the product influences product usage, transport, and depending on the country of use, safety directives.
- Material selection:
Material selection takes into account functional, aesthetic, supply-chain, safety, and processing properties.
- Colour selection:
Colour selection takes into account hue, tint, saturation, shade, tone, intensity, depth, and functional impact.
- Texture selection:
Texture selection takes into account pattern, repeatability, depth, direction, pitch, and functional impact.
- General assembly:
The general assembly occupies the top-level of a product, and may incorporate various contractor and supplier outputs.
Although sub-assemblies are designed to be incorporated into a general assembly, they are ideally testable in a stand-alone state.
- Key components:
By identifying key components with parent-child dependencies across the assembly, failure modes can be effectively managed.
- Product accessories:
Accessories that extend product usage and increase market penetration are strategised during primary development.
- OTS components:
Off The Shelf (OTS) components help mitigate development risk and capital expenditure, however, they do dictate design options.
- OEM components:
An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) provides components that can be customised for incorporation into bespoke designs.
- Design reuse:
The product being developed can incorporate design solutions from previous, and in turn be incorporated into future, iterations.
- Product life expectancy:
Product life expectancy is based on technological compatibility, product durability, and market acceptance.
- Repair and maintenance:
Users expect a product to be repairable and increasingly self-maintainable through the use of official guides and accessible resources.
- Manufacturing processes:
The choice of manufacturing processes directly influence design opportunities, production quantity, and unit cost.
- Annual production:
Annual production helps establish preferred manufacturing processes, batch ordering, and scope of assembly operation.
- Total production:
Total production quantity ascertains whether part-cost can be reduced by amortising tooling investment over total production run.
- Estimated budgets:
The estimated budget should take into account OTS components, OEM components, tooling investments, and assembly costs.
- Design evaluation:
Quick and iterative testing of ideas is provided through sketches, renderings, block-models, and rapid-prototyping.