Design is a complex process with many facets. It can take months (or years) to tweak a design until it’s just right. And even then, when it finally goes into production, you might discover changes are needed to make it work in practical application. Of course, you aim for your designs to work both in theory and practice, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen!
The notion that design flows seamlessly into the production process is a pretty naive assumption. It’s not that design to production as a fluid process is impossible, but if you don’t have the proper tools (like SOLIDWORKS Simulation), it’s more work than you might think. That being said, wouldn’t you want to validate your designs before sending it off to manufacturing? We think so and here are five key reasons why.
The Basics: Why Use Simulation to Validate Designs?
While the true cost of not fully validating a design may not be obvious until after production, it’s clear that these costs do exist and can be directly and indirectly associated with a lack of (or a decision not to use) simulation in the design phase. It’s been shown that design processes that leverage validation using simulation are:
- Of higher quality overall, and often more innovative
- Less time-consuming to produce a practical result
- Cheaper in the long run
The Details: Top 5 Reasons to Validate Your Designs
The list above makes for a pretty compelling argument in favor of design simulation! If you still need convincing, let’s look into five additional reasons you should always validate your designs.
1. New Technology Makes it Easy
With all the fantastic design software out there, it’s really a major oversight not to fully leverage all the latest capabilities. If you don’t know which SOLIDWORKS Simulation package is right for you, this is a great place to start. There’s more where that came from though, did you know SOLIDWORKS offers packages specific to Electronic Cooling, HVAC, and even Plastics? Design simulation is one of the best features there is to ensure the viability of your project. It’s easier than ever to see your design in action, determine changes that might need to be made, and make innovative enhancements or creative edits—all prior to producing a single thing!
We all know that adequate testing is vital before ever physically producing a design, and simulation takes that to the next level. New tech makes it almost foolproof! This saves massive dollars, time, and material resources in the long run.
2. Faster Time-to-Market
Because validating your designs via simulation can reduce the amount of rework by a significant margin, this means that your products get to market faster as well. Especially helpful when you know that the demand will be high, the simple step of validating can make the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied customers.
What’s even better? The fact that you took the time to validate your design implies that you’ve had every opportunity to innovate and enhance…meaning your customers will likely be happier than they expected to be with the result!
3. Reduced Life Cycle Costs
We discussed the lower cost of production that you’ll enjoy when you validate designs, but there’s another cost-benefit. Typically, companies plan for longer lifecycle products to have higher costs over that longer lifespan. But when you’ve designed it so well and tested it so thoroughly before it ever went to production, you’ve got a substantially better overall product.
This means a bit more time upfront, but it pays off big in the long run when it costs less to sustain.
4. Potential New Uses
One benefit of simulating your design before it’s manufactured is that you get to play with it a bit. You can experiment with the simulated design, and by measuring certain features (like heat tolerance, for example), you might stumble across a previously set parameter that doesn’t actually hold true in practice.
This has the potential to open up a whole new world as to what the product could be used for. New applications and/or markets mean higher revenue as well!
5. Competitive Pricing Strategy
Yet another way that design simulation is a money-generator in the long run? Yes.
When you have a quality design software, you’re able to work to precise specifications, like a certain price premium or relative price. These terms are essentially interchangeable and refer to the measure of a product’s price against a benchmark price. The percentage difference indicates how well or poorly a product is doing in the market and can even indicate when there is a shortage or the market is over-saturated.
When you’ve designed your product with relative price in mind, you’re able to back into the design knowing the parameters that need to be honored. This means your design stands a better chance of winning the pricing strategy game by cutting costs (thus increasing margins) early in the process.
More is Possible® with DesignPoint
When you’re ready to level up your design validation and simulation efforts with the latest technology, contact us! DesignPoint is here to help you bring your designs to life in ways that truly work.
If you’re looking to buy a top-rated 3D printer or the hottest new design software products (or if you’d just like to learn more about best-in-market options), we’ve got you covered! Give our experts a call or check out our website for deals and details.