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The Importance of Design-Led Manufacturing

prototyping a plastic model

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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.

Australian manufacturing 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.

female designer working on computer 3D modelling

“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.”

As Australia navigates through the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a unique opportunity to position a design-led approach at the centre of the recovery process – particularly in the revival of Australian manufacturing.

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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