Twentieth century American author Napoleon Hill is famously quoted as saying, “All achievements, all earned riches have their beginning in an idea.” Time has proven Hill’s words to be true. Every product that has ever been invented started out with an idea. It started out with a brave individual, or a brave group of individuals, asking themselves, “what if?” or “why not?”
Ideas are powerful. However, ideas that do not have the backing of a project planning and design team will never get off the drawing board. They will never go from being a good idea to being a useful product that generates revenue for the individuals who imagined it. Without design, it will never have an impact on the lives of people who use it.
Designing Ideas into Reality
This is where we come in. Our mission at Four Elements Product Development is to use our extensive background in engineering and design to help creative people who have a good idea transform their idea into a tangible product built on the principles of sustainable design.
We feel strongly that design is an essential aspect in creating a sustainable practice for engineering activities. When properly performed, the design process allows conceptual design, embodiment design, and detailed design to eventually be transformed into a well-crafted product or a well-designed solution. Here’s how this process works.
- Conceptual Design starts by taking an idea and putting it down on a piece of paper. Ideas are turned into drawings. The drawings that are created during the correct conceptual design phrase are simple. They lack detail. Their primary purpose is to take the ideas and commit them to paper.
- Embodiment Design takes the concept and turns it into a functioning system that can be further developed. The goal during this phase is to create a design that is simple, has a clear framework, and can achieve the desired results in a safe way.
- Detailed Design is where the final plans are created and refined. Specifications are reviewed, estimates are created, 2-D and 3-D models are made, P & IDs procurement plans are gathered, and the entire cost of the project is laid out.
Research and Client Communication
Throughout this entire process, we are working closely with our clients making sure that the product we are designing is in harmony with their vision, meets their design specifications, and successfully resolves the problem they are looking to address.
Good communication and research is key to this being done properly. For this reason we start out by asking our clients what their objective is.
Who are they designing this product for?
Who is the target user?
Who is the customer?
The answers to these questions will have a large impact on the in design of the product. For example, if a product is being designed to be used by children, it is essential that no small parts that could be swallowed are included. Products that are being designed for amateurs might require a simplicity that is not needed in products that are going to be used by professionals. Products that will be used in a construction environment will need to be more rigid than those that are used in a residential environment.
Once we have gathered this information, we move to the research phase. Have other engineers tried to create similar products to resolve the same problem? Are there solutions that already exist to solve the problem or to meet the need the project we are designing will address? What are some positive elements of these products, and what are the shortfalls? Only by answering these questions can we guarantee that the product we are creating is something new and that it will effectively fill our client’s needs.
From the start of the project all the way to its completion, our design team will work closely with you to ensure that the end project we deliver is what you expect. Any changes in the scope of the project will be discussed thoroughly as well as the effects these changes will have on the timing and on the budget.
At Four Elements Product Development, we are eager to put our years of engineering and design experience to work for you. Our goal is to help you get your ideas out of the clouds and into production quickly.