Design-Led Manufacturing Makes Smart Solutions

prototyping a plastic model

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Design-led manufacturing can be defined as the process of giving consideration to all activities relating to product manufacture and use throughout the design journey. It goes beyond the design requirements of visual appeal and ergonomics. Design-led manufacturing involves the implications on supply chains, the circular economy and effects of global events and shifts.

Design-led manufacturing is a close collaboration between designers and manufacturing engineers. There needs to be a focus on design excellence, agile production processes and machinery capabilities, to enable design teams to trust in the manufacturability of their products, as a result saving time, money and resources.

“Unfortunately, the term ‘design’ is still largely misunderstood and undervalued by Australian manufacturers with many seeing it as an ‘add on’ rather than an integrated strategic investment in their business.”

Dr Brandon Gien – CEO Good Design Australia

“The constant desire for perfection and smart solutions at Black Lab Design, makes anything possible to become reality where designers and manufacturing truly come together.”

An integral step in the recovery of Australian manufacturing is the need for the creation of smart solutions that can be achieved through design-led manufacturing. Australia needs a national design-led strategy that embraces the role of design, innovation and creativity to drive unique design solutions in a competitive, global market. The real challenge is to unlock this design potential and to find better ways to link our world-class designers to the revival in Australia’s manufacturing sector.

The Australian manufacturing industry will benefit from seamless transitions from the design phase to the manufacturing phase. If these business strategies are implemented, design-led manufacturing can assure both quality and productivity;

  • Designers checking their designs against actual manufacturing capabilities in the early stages of the design process
  • Arming the designer with tools to check for manufacturability by themselves
  • Having clear and open communication lines between designers and manufacturing engineers
  • Using CAD systems to test if components of designs can actually be made

As an industry, we are wasting time and resources figuring out how we are going to manufacture our designs too late into the process. Understanding manufacturing capabilities should be integral to all design decisions and processes.

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