Designing a product and developing a way to make it has been part of Multiform Products right from the beginning.  The way we take that design from paper to prototype has certainly changed over the years, but the innovative thinking that is needed has not.  Working alongside our customer, we take ideas and sketches and add our input to provide the best solution for their needs.  

Once we have a concept or two, we use Solidworks to take those ideas and turn them into a 3D model of the design, giving the customer the best way to visualise their product.  Multiform can take your project from an idea, produce a prototype and then manufacture it.

 

What do I need to think about when designing a product?

It seems obvious to say that a good product begins with good design.  However, design has a bearing, not only on the aesthetics and function of your product–it also has an affect on the way it is manufactured.  The design will alter the process used and even the number of operations involved.  The bottom line is that the design does indeed affect the bottom line–in this case the cost of your product.  

So consider all three aspects in your design.  Certainly think about the aesthetics and function, but take into consideration the manufacturing aspect also.  Doing so will result in a more cost-effective product.

 

I don't have SolidWorks.  How can I view a 3D model of the design?

There are a couple of ways.  SolidWorks provide a free product for download called eDrawings Viewer which will enable you to view, manipulate, and print the desired view of the design.

Another option for viewing the design, and you may already have it installed, is the latest version of  Adobe Reader.  We can save the file as a 3D PDF, and you will be able to view, manipulate and print the desired view.

 

I already have a design, but drawn in another drawing package.  What file formats can you open with SolidWorks?

SolidWorks can open a variety of formats.  Here's a list of file types that SolidWorks can import:

  • DXF
  • DWG
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Parasolid
  • STEP
  • ACIS
  • IGES
  • VDAFS (.vda)
  • VRML (.wrl)
  • STL (.stl)
  • CATIA Graphics (.cgr)
  • Pro/E Part (.prt)
  • Pro/E Assembly (.asm)
  • Unigraphics (.prt)
  • IFC (Industry Foundation Classes)
  • Inventor Part (.ipt)
  • Inventor Assembly (.iam)
  • Solid Edge Part (.psm)
  • Solid Edge Assembly (.asm)
  • CADKEY (.prt, .ckd)
  • Add-Ins (.dll)
  • IDF (.emn, .brd, .bdf, .ibd)
  • Rhino (.3dm)

 Although these can all be opened, the reality is some do work better than others.  The ones in bold are the common ones we work with successfully.

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