What would products look like if shape was defined not by the manufacturing process but by only the limits of the materials used instead? Yes some might immediately shout 3D printing but in reality additive parts are constrained by machine dynamics, material format and design tool shortcomings as much as many traditional approaches. So while most shapes have an aesthetic external A surface, the insides are more a reflection of the manufacturing process than a fully optimised form.
Cutter radi, injection runners and minimum / maximum wall sections often end up defining a part more than the designers original vision. Not necessarily obvious to the casual observer but when >10% of a given product essentially adds no ongoing value then it’s certainly worthy of our attention. It costs money to include in the first place, considerably more to remove and stops the properties of even the latest nano based materials from being fully exploited.
In a connected digitised world that strives to increasingly divorce form and function (intelligent cardboard box anyone?) the amount of legacy ‘value add’ sneaking its way into our daily lives is impressive. The need for better computer aided design tools and production processes has never been greater.Back to Blog