Mechanical engineering has been revolutionized by CAD design software and digital machine tools. Mechanical design often means making someone else’s ideas a reality. But what if you’ve come up with an exciting new concept of your own? How do you go about making your product idea a reality?
For mechanical engineering professionals, producing a product you’ve patented yourself is the way to untold riches, offering a degree of financial independence the average bench engineer can only dream of. But the harsh reality is that many of these great ideas never see the light of day, thwarted by environmental compliance, patent protocols and a thousand other issues. For every Dyson vacuum cleaner there are a thousand unsold widgets.
If you feel you have a workable design concept – perhaps an improvement on a bench machine you use – then there’s no reason why you can’t be selling the reality to other mechanical engineering companies a few months down the line. But you need to do your homework and be organized and methodical in your approach – which means a Product Design Cycle.
This is where a good CAD design software package becomes invaluable. You can record your ideas in detail, keep a log of dates and tasks performed, make 3D drawings (scanned in from your own hand-drawn technical designs, if you prefer), do internet research and even perform reverse engineering. Don’t limit your research to the ’net: use books, periodicals and trade publications as well.
Your first step, though, is to see if there’s another product like yours already on the market. Don’t be dismayed if there are several – your version might just be the one which sweeps all the others away. So take a look at them; see how well they’re selling, test them out and chat to people already using them. Use reverse engineering to see how they’re constructed. You need to be sure your product is an improvement on what’s already out there.
If after all this you feel it’s still marketable you still need to take a rain check. What about the costs involved? Is there an OEM willing to produce your product in bulk and at reasonable cost? Do the materials and construction comply with environmental compliance and Health and Safety laws? Biggest of all – the product may be useful to you, but is there enough demand for it on the open market? Before you ever begin consigning your design to reality, you need to be totally convinced the idea is patentable, marketable and won’t leave you out of profit
If you’re convinced your idea has potential, you can start the next stage – drawing up a patent. Lay out your invention in comprehensible text and graphic format, including as much detail as possible – what it does, how it is constructed and how it will be used. Use appropriate words and phrases and spell-check everything. After this, get a patent attorney to perform a patent search. He will tell you if he thinks the idea is patentable. Then – and only then – can you start making your mechanical design masterpiece a reality.
You could, if you prefer, turn the entire project over to us at Enventure Technologies. We offer a wide range of mechanical engineering solutions, from initial concepts to final prototypes.
Alternatively, you might just like to turn your VHDL design work over to us at Enventure Technologies. Our engineers are highly qualified and experienced in all aspects of hardware design.
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