For many aspects of product development throughout the process, use of computer aided design/CAD software allows for a standardized format for design for multiple applications including prototyping, manufacturing, marketing and more.
When a design is started in CAD and thought has been put into proper design intent, we are able to easily make changes to a client's concept, whether it be for simple concept refinement, or for modifying the design for prototyping or manufacturing applications such as adding draft angles for injection molded products or exporting the CAD file to a 3D printable format.
For most prototyping and manufacturing methods, the process begins with inputting the design CAD. Once the design is in CAD, it can then be used in a variety of ways. 3D printing, for example, requires the design to be input into CAD, where it can then be converted to a .stl polygon file, and then once again converted into a 3D printer g-code file ready to be printed.
Though there are other CAD programs such as AutoCAD, we exclusively prefer to use SolidWorks CAD for development projects, as this is currently the industry standard and allows us to collaborate with industry contacts and manufacturers worldwide, allowing for the most flexibility, consistency, and efficiency throughout the development process.
Over 3 million product designers and engineers use SolidWorks with more than 210,800 organizations worldwide. Since 1999, the most products worldwide have been designed using SolidWorks CAD and this has become the standard.
Some of the things that can be done with SolidWorks include:
Generating Bill of Materials
Ability to Export for 3D Printing
Create computer-generated 3D renderings & presentations
Generate Patent Drawings (for a patent application)
Export to CNC for high production manufacturing
Communication with files to industry vendors and manufacturers