Research & Development

Posted by Emilie Harrak on October 02 2014

Design Ventura

Research and desvelopment is about testing your ideas and making it better.

The best way to test yourt idea is to make a model of the object you are designing. You might make a very rough paper model to start with to give you a sense of the form, shape and size. This rough model will help you think about the finer details that you’ll need to refine several times and make lots of models and prototypes until you’re happy with the physical design idea.,

Make, make, and then make some more!

Here are three key stages:

1. PLAN YOUR PROTOTYPE

Think about how big you need to make it. is them model going to help you think about the overall shape, or do you really want to make it in detail so you understand how the product will fit in the users hand or function at full scale? Decide if your model needs to be made from rough paper and tape first, or something like clay or plastercine. So think about the materials you need to use for the model. What tools will you need to help you make the model or prototype? Get everything ready before you start.

2. ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND GET MAKING!

Modelling and Prototyping is essential to the designing process.

For you first model, don’t worry too much about exact measurments or the finer details. Just start making. Don’t be too precious, if you need to change or take off sections and rebuild it, then do that. Don;’t worry if the first model is very rough. You can make another one that’s alittle neater, and another one that uses more suitable materials, and another that uses suitable materials and is to scale with all the details added, and another thats super neat and clear…you get the idea!

As you make each model, think about the relationship between the product and its end user:

Is it practical?

Is the size right?

Is it comforatabloe and easy to use?

What materials and colours could you use to make it work and look really great?

As you make the models and prototypes ask the following questions:

Is it easy to make? If yes, then you know that a macine or manufacturer will also find it easier, which it what you want.

How can it be assembled and put together?

What materials will be best to use to make it strong, last and not fall apart, look good, easy to source, cheap to buy, easy to make with etc.

your model and final prorotype will help the manufacturer understand what you want to make, but also when you pitch your idea to the class or at the pitching event, it will help the judges really visualise, test and understand what your idea is.

3. SPEND SOME TIME TO MAKE YOUR PROTOTYPES/IDEAS PRESENTABLE

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The final prototype needs to staret showing the exact details of your final design idea. It doesn’t always need to be made from teh fianl material if that’s too expensive. But it does need to help others understand what your idea is, how it works, what the real p[roduct could look like in shape and size. Where you might add graphics or textures, use different materials etc.

For designers, this is essential before production of the final product begins. For Design Venutra, you might not get to this level of detail, but making models and working in 3D will help to bring your design to life.

Here are a couple of short films to inspire you:

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