At least 3 times a week, I get a call from someone at the very early stage of becoming a "MAKER". They've got an idea, and they're trying to figure out how to get it prototyped and ultimately manufactured with as little up-front cost as possible. These are some of my favorite calls to take, because while I certainly don't know everything, I've been working in manufacturing services long enough that I can usually offer some good advise to get them headed in the right direction.
If it's a mechanical product and depending on the product or idea, and the first step might be to get the product into SOLIDWORKS or some other CAD file for a 3D printed version (full scale or miniaturized) to test the form and fit of the item before investing monies in tooling and minimum order quantities.
Protyping of electronic or electro-mechanical product usually requires a different type and level of documentation, including assembly drawings, BOM's (Bills of Materials), gerber files, program files, etc.
Some of my more interesting "Maker" calls have been:
* An elderly man wondering if it was possible to 3D print his dentures (a replacement version). [we declined :)]
* A finishing lure designer who needed molds made for some new designs
* A renovator of classic cars who needed some replacement parts made
* An inventor of a new shower-aid product
* A museum needing a 3D printed replica of a statue (the original is on display at the Smithsonian)
* A crab fisherman wanting to save crab lives by using 3D printed crab on his boat tours
I work with Makers and OEM's from all market segments, and help with new product development, new product introduction, and manufacturing support from prototyping all the way up to production quantities. If you think I might be able to be of help, please call or write. I'd love to chat!
HOPEWELL COMPANIES provides experienced representation of test and manufacturing services and solutions.
With a highly specialized background in Aero/Defense and electronics manufacturing, and more than 20 years in electronic manufacturing and engineering services, HOPEWELL COMPANIES brings empowerment and value to our clients through:
For more information regarding the engineering, test, and manufacturing capabilities of our Principals, please visit our website.
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