The Electronic Product Design Cycle for Mechanical Engineer

electronic product designEven the most seasoned mechanical engineers can become daunted when tasked with designing an electronic product from scratch. Creating a product that will impress clients can be a difficult thing to do, but the process can be made a lot easier if one adheres to a well thought out development cycle. In order to help you, here are the key electronic product design cycle stages that will help one come out with a top-notch design the very first time.

Concept

This is usually the toughest part of the product development, no matter what the job is. However, you should definitely not take short cuts as you will thank yourself later on. A fantastic product deals with everyday problems in unusual ways. There are two ways to go about this, you can either think of something that irritates you in everyday life or you can improve on an existing product.

The important thing is that you come up with a need, a market, a product and how you will go about making this product a reality.

Research

Here you need to get rid of your idealistic notions of what your product will look like and get down to the finer details. Take a look at which technologies and methods will be involved in the production processes so you know what you will need. Furthermore, you need to be in possession of a detailed design specification as well as a clear idea of the costs by the end of this process.

Circuit Design

You now need to draw up your schematic using the software you are most comfortable with. You also need to create a parts list so you know how much your product will cost.

Packaging Design

This is really important even though you might not think so as a mechanical engineer. Most people (and clients for that matter) will not be concerned about the quality of a product if it doesn’t look good. In a world governed by aesthetics, clients will judge your product by its look and feel. Think about you feel when you reach in your pocket for your Kindle or Galaxy Tab and you understand why packaging is so important.

Printed Circuit Design

Here you need to ensure that your layout placement is well thought out. You should also always bear in mind the optimum layout of your board. This is because if your product goes into mass production, those millimetres will mean huge savings.

Prototyping or Trial Production

If you do not do in-house prototyping you should make use of a trusted PCB prototyping shop. You need to remember not to leave this until the eleventh hour since prototypes have a habit of highlighting issues that need to be fixed before presenting the product to a client. It can take as many as ten prototypes before your product is ready for presentation to give you an idea of the complexity involved.

Review

This is where your final prototype is evaluated in terms of function, the cost of building, appearance and any other improvements when you are sure that this is your final product.

Final Wrap Up

Now you need to take a look at areas where you could improve on costing as well as any laws that you might need to abide with. Finally, try and come up with a sales projection to impress clients.