Product Design & Development,
Specialized for Startups
The new product development approach for a startup greatly differs from that of a big corporation and startups need to find creative ways to work within budget constraints. Through a case study, we demonstrate how we helped a consumer electronics startup turn their prototype into an “Apple store worthy” design while reducing manufacturing costs down to a sixth of the original estimate.
Why a Startup Can't Do It Like Apple Does
The number of CNC machines Apple bought
to manufacture the Macbook’s casing.
Conventional wisdom says that CNC machining should not be used in high volume consumer products, but that did not stop Apple from buying 10,000 CNC machines in order to make the unibody casing for the Macbook.
Apple can assemble a team of manufacturing experts to find out a way to shine light through Aluminum, have suppliers modify their machines to accommodate unusual design requests or outright buy it's suppliers. As a startup, you would most probably not hear back from a manufacturer if you made such requests.
A startup operates under very different constraints and applying the same approach of big companies to the new product development for a startup can put it out of business.
What Startups 'Can' Do Instead
The percentage of manufacturing cost that depends on product design.
With limited funds, startups need to get creative in the way they approach new product development. Manufacturing presents some ‘hidden’ opportunities that can be exploited with smart design.
According to a study at Rolls-Royce, a product’s design determines 80% of it’s manufacturing cost. This is the single biggest opportunity for a startup to save thousands of dollars using a well optimized design that takes into account the practicalities of manufacturing.
Yet, for many designers, the manufacturability and reliability of a design are merely an after-thought. This results in overly expensive products or quality issues that could have been easily avoided with smarter design choices.
About This Case Study
In this case study, we demonstrate how we helped a consumer electronics startup turn their prototype into an “Apple-store worthy” design while cutting manufacturing costs down to a sixth of the original cost.
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