The industrial design workflow – creating and communicating multiple concepts quickly and effectively

Written by: SOLIDWORKS | Published: 03/20

As an industrial designer, you know that inspiration can come from many places and that revolutionary product ideas often evolve — going through stages of modification and refinement — based on inputs, insights, and intelligence gained from various sources, including consumers, distributors, marketers, engineers, and manufacturing personnel. To be effective, industrial designers cannot operate on an island.

You need design tools that not only support a more efficient concept creation process but also connect you to a streamlined industrial design workflow with collaboration, communication, iteration, and integration with downstream processes at its heart.

Developing Concepts

After acquiring and assessing the general product specifications and consumer use cases, industrial designers need to explore as many design concepts as possible in the allotted time. This is the point at which the initial magic happens, and industrial designers need a range of powerful sketching, modeling, and surfacing solutions to convey concept ideas to the rest of the product team. The ability to create complex, organic concepts in a single 3D environment — rather than moving back and forth between multiple single-point solutions — streamlines and facilitates the development of initial industrial design concepts, allowing more ideas to be explored and resulting in a more refined product concept.

Focus on Concepts without Distraction of Ancillary Tasks

For industrial designers, once you are in the creative “zone” of concept development, the last thing you need are distractions that disrupt your focus or impede your ability to overcome time crunches. Even mundane, rudimentary tasks like writing and sending an email, moving from one modeling package to another, or taking a customer telephone call or meeting, can take you out of the creative “zone” and ultimately limit your final product design. Working in a single, collaborative 3D design environment, which minimizes or eliminates associated ancillary tasks, will remove many of these distractions, enabling you to focus your energy, creativity, and passion on creating as many innovative design concepts in the shortest time as you possibly can.

Design Differentiation through Brand Identity

Developing industrial design concepts that carry your company’s brand identity and differentiate your products from existing or competitive offerings requires communication before, during, and after the concept development phase. To create designs that spark an emotional response from consumers or customers, you first need to thoroughly understand their needs, desires, and preferences, before you can utilize creative modelling tools to differentiate industrial designs, while maintaining your unique brand identity. As part of the product development process you need to validate some of the assumptions that you initially made by collecting user feedback to initial concepts and incorporating it into the development of subsequent concepts. This interactive, collaborative process will help you produce industrial designs that stand out from and beat the competition.

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