Please give a warm welcome to our newest guest contributor, Mitch Pricer. Mitch is an industrial designer specializing in 3D design, concept work, 3D modeling/art, and 3D printing. With over 5,000 hours spent 3D printing, he knows a thing or two about it, as well as about Industrial Design. I first became aware of Mitch reading about his “MitchRap-1 3D Printer.” With so much time spent on other 3D printers, Mitch felt it was time to design one of his own, with the emphasis being on accuracy and resolution. He managed to achieve XY-axis placement accuracy of 6 microns and resolutions down to 50 microns on the Z-axis, but he sees this as just the beginning and is already planning future projects. We hope you enjoy his guest postings!
What is Industrial Design anyway?
When I was presented with the opportunity to guest post on CNCcookbook, one of the questions I was tasked with answering was what the field of industrial design is all about. I like to think of it as “fun-gineering”; as it combines the typical design process with prototype creation and production concerns. Hence the title, “industrial designer”…or designing for industry.
As an industrial designer, your job differs from a concept artist in that your concepts have to be manufacturable and marketable to the overall population. This places you in a position that requires a fairly in-depth knowledge base of not only design, manufacturing processes, and intellectual property protection, but also the past products of a client and their marketing scheme, as this must be used to drive the future designs to maintain brand identity. A great example of someone in this field, and the power industrial designers have to change a company, is Jonathan Ive of Apple Inc. When he was brought on in 1992, Apple took a swift turn towards a design focused product that could appeal to the masses, something that is right up the alley of an industrial designer. He was able to not only create successful products, but maintain brand identity through the study of past Apple designs and their marketing schemes.
Jonathan Ive: Apple’s Industrial Design Leader…
While the field of industrial design is nothing new on the scene, it has seemingly become much more prevalent; arguably due to the improvements in 3D printing and the ability to have multiple 3D printers in-house. In my case, I have three printers sitting on a table in my office arms-length away, all which give me the ability to either print out actual models, or scaled representations of the project I am working on in a matter of hours. While this was technically possible with smaller NC Mills, they typically cannot be contained in an office and require more work on the operation end with setting up tool-paths and the like. While 3D printing is still a bit of a science in terms of getting consistent results, it stands to offer any company an incredibly simplified workflow for getting products intellectually protected and to market in a cost-effective manner. I am looking forward to making future posts with CNCCookBook, especially pertaining to the awesome workflows I have developed for using 3D printing to do surface analysis on parts with complex surfaces to be NC Milled! For more information about myself or my contact information, head over to my website: mitchpricerdesigns.com!
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Bob is responsible for the development and implementation of the popular G-Wizard CNC Software. Bob is also the founder of CNCCookbook, the largest CNC-related blog on the Internet.