Design for manufacture strategy UK

Underestimating the design for manufacture activities within your product development can lead to costly tooling modifications and additional time required to correct the problems. Some of the common mistakes that are made include:

  • Design errors in the detailed design and 3D CAD.
  • Poorly designed mouldings leading to difficulties for the manufacturer to deliver components within specification, producing a high failure rate. This could be due to:
    • Poorly specified wall thickness
    • Lack of and poorly designed internal detailing
    • Insufficient draft angle for the specified resin
    • Insufficient dimensional tolerances
    • Incorrect resin choice.
  • Insufficient allowance for metal-safe details to be tuned after T1 sampling, leading to costly metal-on tooling modifications.
  • Poorly designed tooling shut offs leading to witness lines/ flash, particularly problematic for moving parts over the lifetime of the tooling.
  • Visible flow lines – poor cosmetic finish.
  • Inappropriate gate design for injection.
  • Badly chosen ejection pin/ blade locations – mechanical interference.
  • Using a toolmaker/moulder who is not ideal for your product.

Failure to take account of these important aspects early in the design process can lead to increased time and costs and a delay to your product launch.

  • Lengthy time-consuming PowerPoint presentations to effectively communicate design/ moulding issues, followed by proposed design improvements. I have found the use of Powerpoint/ graphical illustration is often needed when working with toolmakers in China.
  • Tooling modifications – Changes that are not agreed up front would be paid for by you (the client).
  • Increased transport/ courier & customs charges would be paid for by you (the client). This can be expensive if components are being manufactured in China/ Far East. The size/ weight of the component is also an important factor to take into consideration.
  • Additional iterative builds of your product – significant increase in validation time and costs for you (the client).
  • Delayed sign-off of your product and ultimate product launch.

With over 25 years’ experience successfully designing products and taking them through to production, I can help you overcome these problems. Please get in touch if you would like some expertise in developing your product.


Graeme Maisey

#DFM #designformanufacture #3DCAD