It makes no sense to reinvent the wheel, but improvement is always an option.  

To achieve your goal, you first have to know what your goal is. By analysing the product, the market, the stakeholders, the context and potential risks a clear and realistic goal can be defined. By identifying the product characteristics that are to be retained and the key aspects that should be improved, the most efficient way to achieve the goal can be plotted

tools & Actions

  • State-of-Art analysis
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Proof of Principle
  • Function analysis
  • Cost price analysis
  • Patent research
  • Rules & regulations research
  • Concept FMEA
  • Space claim analysis

Innovations and improvements start with good ideas. But not all ideas can be combined into an integrated solution. Sometimes good ideas just come up at an unexpected moment. But with the right tools and strategy they can be generated at will.

tools & Actions

  • Brainstorming
  • Design sketching
  • Experimenting
  • Morphological map
  • Conceptual Bill of Materials
  • Calculations & Simulations
  • Mock-ups and scale models

Plans and Ideas can be great, but are worthless if they are not communicated properly

To present an idea or a concept in such a way that others get it too, is always a challenge, but essential to product development and innovation. With simple ideas a simple pencil sketch on the back of a beer coaster might suffice, but when the concept is more complex it sometimes requires a life-size, operational mock-up.

  • Design sketching
  • Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop
  • 3D Modelling
  • 3D Printing
  • Functional Models
  • Mock-ups & scale models

The function of a product is the reason for its existence 

A product can look great and might be easy to produce, but if it does not function well, it should not exist at all. A product does not function on its own, but always has interactions with the user and its environment. My focus has always been on developing and improving product functions and systems. 

tools & Actions

  • Research
  • Calculations
  • Simulations
  • 3D Modelling
  • Functional analysis

3D Modelling is one of the most important tools for product development. It can be used for a lot of different purposes. At the start of the development process it can be used to develop and validated ideas. In the end, the complete product can be defined in every detail and made ready for production. 

tools & Actions

  • Solidworks Professional
  • Solidworks Simulation
  • Finite-Element-Analysis 
  • Space claim analysis
  • Surface modelling
  • Detailing
  • Production drawings

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a physical model is worth infinitely more. 

The best way to test and verify ideas and concept is to try them out.  In 3D CAD, everything is possible and by zooming in every small detail can look robust. But reality can be tricky. Does it work? Is it robust enough? Is it easy to understand and use? Mock-ups and prototypes are used during the whole development process to verify ideas, concepts and the product before investing in production.      

tools & Actions

  • Foam volume models
  • Scale models
  • 2D function mock-ups
  • Test-rigs
  • Functional demonstrators
  • Trade-fair models
  • Prototypes

3D printing is a fast and easy way to check ideas and concepts in real life. In 3D CAD, everything is possible and by zooming in every small detail can look robust. But reality can be tricky. By printing the concept, the size, the looks, the ergonomics and functions of a product can quickly be checked and verified. Based on the findings, the model can be improved.   

tools & Actions

  • Ultimaker 3 – FFF/FDM
  • Various 3rd party suppliers

Ideas and intentions can be good, but without a plan they will never become a great product. Every project, even small ones, needs some planning and management to define the goal and the best route towards it. With larger projects with multiple cooperating parties, it is important to communicate the plan clearly and keep track of the progress continuously.

tools & Actions

  • Project strategy 
  • Project plan & milestone definition
  • Project budget estimations
  • Project risk management

Product development always costs a lot of money and time. And if the project and product risks are not properly managed, it may take a lot more of it in the end. At the start of the development process, changes to the project and product are relatively easy and quick to make. In the end, the investments are higher and unexpected changes are costly. By analysing and controlling risks from the start, unpleasant surprises can be avoided. 

tools & Actions

  • Rules & Regulations research
  • FMEA (Concept, Product & Process)
  • Proof of Principle
  • Preliminary testing