Hardware Prototyping Deep Dive: Level Up by Making

Hardware Prototyping Deep Dive: Level Up by Making

Discover why getting your hands dirty in designing a product can make you become a proficient engineer or designer from Phil Tsao of MistyWest

Why Make Things Yourself?

To become a better engineer or designer, it’s important to get your hands dirty. Here are some reasons why you should dive right into hardware prototyping.

1. 3D Printing Can’t Solve Everything, Yet. Although the future of 3D printing is enticing, we aren’t there quite yet for it to do it all.

2. Having Hands-On Experience Leads to Better Design. You can learn a lot from going through the process, which ultimately will lead to designing better, more efficient parts.

3. Increase Manufacturability. The more practice you get in production and design, the more proficient you will become in the process.

4. You’ll Learn a lot about Material Properties. It may be a small benefit, but the hands-on approach will help you understand your materials better.

5. Improve Communication to Suppliers.                 
               ~ 29% of manufacturers reported that they “often” or “always” receive                        parts that aren’t manufacturable.

               ~ 66% of developers say they have experienced a miscommunication with                      CNC machining or 3D printing shop in regards to design intent on a part.

               ~ 74% of manufacturers report a similar miscommunication.

               ~ 54% of developers consider themselves “very” or “extremely”                                    knowledgeable about the manufacturing process VS. 27% of                                      manufacturers consider their clients to be “very” or “extremely”                              knowledgeable about manufacturing.

6. Anticipate and Solve Challenges Early. Knowing potential issues beforehand will help you communicate any problems that may arise.

7. Iterate Quickly and Spur Innovation. If you have the knowledge and access to the tools needed, you can speed up the process. It will also reduce the pressure of cost and time, which will increase creativity and innovation.

8. Qualify Suppliers More Easily. The more you know about the process, the better qualified you are to vet the right manufacturers.

               ~ More axes = more complexity = better programmers!

               ~ Machines and tools are a fair indication of shop quality and investment.

9. Rework and Troubleshoot. Learning how to make changes or fix issues yourself will ultimately save you time and money.



~ Get your hands dirty! It’s fun and will make you a more proficient designer.

~ If you can’t afford equipment, improvise. Utilize makerspaces, purchase used or entry-level equipment, take night classes

~ Watch lots of videos on YouTube and practice!


To view photos from this event, click here.

About The Speaker

Phil Tsao

Phil Tsao

Design Engineer, MistyWest

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