Posted by Alex Ivaschenko on 29th September 2014
Where are you on this curve?
Do you see what I mean? This is what we deal with on a daily basis trying to solve a custom problem.
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth reassuring clients that once the design goals have been established, the product will work as intended. The hard part is to understand what the design intent is in the first place. There is a serious need to establish a clear line of communication with the customer. There is no way around it. That is because the customer has all the infinite details obvious to them. How the product will be used. What’s around it. How many they need, production or prototype. All that matters to make a custom product work great for that particular intended purpose. The big picture and the smallest details are in the customers’ hands and minds.
How design happens is actually irrelevant, as long as the product works and the customer is happy. After pulling all the information out – the specification document, the rest is the grunt work. The tools of the trade, FEA, CFD, type of CAD, or size of the pencils are not important to the customer. In fact, all of the engineering process is an enabler, as far as the customer is concerned, a necessary evil. NDA is not considered worth mentioning. What matters is the finished product. However, if the designer operates without clear project goals and without the proper tools, it will be a frustrating project for both parties. Without a clear design intent nothing will happen. A spec must be developed. This takes time and communication. You can’t ask for quick results.
How then do we make good designs happen? Trust, communication without hesitation, anticipation of limits, listening and understanding between the two engineers – the engineering customer and the development engineer thinking as one.