Occasional DEVELOP3D contributor, Joe Moak, also runs a rather wonderful blog called FormLovesFunction. It’s worth a visit. Joe’s been discussing all manner of things that relate to design, to engineering and to manufacturing. For me, this is valuable content. Joe works for one of the most respected design-led organisations on the planet and if there’s one thing i’ve come to realise, he knows what he’s talking about. While many blogs focussing on the design space look at the form alone, FormLovesFunction looks at how design for manufacturing affects that form and what’s needed to deliver truly world class products. Want some evidence? Here’s an introductory paragraph from a recent blog entry on the design of Injection Moulded Plastic Part Design:
Designing plastic parts is deceptively complicated. There are many factors to consider along with the obvious part function, performance, and cosmetic requirements. The checklist below outlines most of the important factors affecting performance and cost for any given application. Not all of these items will be applicable to every part you design, but going through this list will undoubtedly give you a better understanding of your part and what it needs to do. This understanding will undoubtedly help you make changes to optimize the part design.
There’s a mix of 3D tools, manufacturing processes (love the EDM tolerance article as well) and just plain old coolness. Alongside this, Joe is trying to get a forum off the ground where designers can discuss these types of issues and I’d encourage you to join up and take part, discuss the issues and find some new vectors of thought. Sign up is here or if you’re a twitter user, follow Mr. Moak (@joemoak) and send him a message about an invite.
There was a recent thread on the Core77.com discussion boards about whether engineers ever ‘design’ anything that’s equal parts arrogance on the side of some and shear realism on the part of those in the trenches, doing the work and creating the products. People like Joe and the vast majority of DEVELOP3D readers show that the lines between design and engineering are blurred moreso now than ever before. Dive in. Make it your own people.