What Is Design for Manufacturing?

Custom Case Design & Engineering


Your design for a custom case might look great on paper. But can it actually be manufactured in the real world?

It’s a scenario that we see play out time and again: A customer contracts an industrial design firm to create renderings of custom cases for its products. It’s an expensive process, with costs frequently climbing into the thousands, but the results are beautiful, eye-catching designs that are either presented on paper or via screen share.

Unfortunately, form is only half of the equation. Function is just as important, and that’s where the work of third-party industrial designers can fall short. With a strong focus on creating the most visually appealing design, there is often a gap in the bridge to the manufacturing process. The design may not offer the most cost-effective, efficient way to manufacture the case, or its functionality may not be able to replicate properly from a manufacturing standpoint. And so, even with thousands of dollars invested, you’ll find yourself back at the drawing board.

Thankfully, there’s a better way to approach product development — one that will produce high-quality results and minimize production costs.

A Quick Introduction to Design For Manufacturing

In its simplest terms, design for manufacturing (DFM) is a design technique that is built for the manufacturing process. From the optimal choice of molding to build your custom case to the tools required to achieve its precise look and functionality, a DFM approach aims to find the most efficient and effective way to produce products. The goal is not only to save production time and costs (and headaches) down the road, but also generate a higher quality product.

DFM relies on input from every key stakeholder, from designers and manufacturers to material suppliers. This method of product design considers costs (both dollars and resources) at all production levels to create a design that simplifies the manufacturing process and eliminates waste. Without design revisions or a cumbersome approach to manufacturing, products that meet your standards can get to market faster.

Did You Know Cases By Source Uses DFM?

With more than 35 years of industry experience, the in-house design and engineering team at Cases By Source understands DFM, and we offer the skills and expertise to reduce your packaging costs and wow your customers in the process. With a DFM approach in place, you can feel confident about the quality of your custom case from start to finish and continue to move forward rather than backwards.

To learn more about how Cases By Source leverages DFM and a range of other techniques, visit our process page.custom-case-get-started

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