David Heller is the founder and President and CEO of IBSystems, Inc , MCADCafe's parent company. Always curious and on the look out for 'cool tech' he enjoys thinking outside the box and sharing his discoveries with you.
Communications Test Equipment Industrial Design – by ID-3D Design
October 3rd, 2011 by David Heller
Article source: ID-3D Design
This article takes you step-by-step through ID-3D’s design of Sunrise Telecom’s Rxt portable compact tablet used to test telecom, cable, and wireless networks.
Concept Generation: ID-3D Design’s Initial enclosure concepts are generated based on specifications, requirements and preferences from the client as well as user experience research. After some initial hand sketching, rough 2D component configurations are blocked out in AutoCAD and 3D virtual form studies are started using SolidWorks. The most promising concepts are then rendered in SolidWorks and presentation plates are prepared using Adobe Photoshop for client review.
Concept Integration: Based on client input from the initial concept presentation, the most promising features are integrated into a more focused embodiment. AutoCAD and SolidWorks are used along with hand sketching for further concept development and refinement as the product’s form and functions become more focused.
Concept Detail: Once a single direction is established, the concept details are refined in SolidWorks. At this point, based on anticipated production volumes, ID-3D Design recommends the most cost efficient materials and processes to be used in the manufacturing of this product.
Mechanical Layout: All internal components are configured in a global scale layout where structural and spatial concerns are addressed. Circuit board outlines are generated and interconnection systems are also established here. Traditional 2D projections generated in AutoCAD allow all mechanical solutions to be quickly revised, compared and communicated to the client to demonstrate ID-3D Design’s proposed mechanical packaging philosophy.
Mechanical Detail: Once the Mechanical layout is approved, 3D models of all parts are generated and detailed using Solidworks. Final decisions on materials and processes are established here and the 3D data can be used for various mechanical analysis such as part cost, structural, thermal, and mold flow analysis etc..
Prototyping: The 3D data is used to build ‘proof of concept’ models to test the fit and function with all internal components. Prototype construction is initiated by the downloading of STL, STP & IGES files to various sub-contractors for the producing of machined plastics and metals parts; rapid SLA based castings; and, sheet metal fabrication. These Prototype models are used in various tests for electrical, structural, RFI and thermal issues validation as well as prove out assembly and human factors issues.
Pre Production: Final detailing and documentation for production tooling is accomplished using SolidWorks. Also included are form factor control drawings for circuit board design and master artwork files for screen print graphics and labels using Adobe Illustrator . Manufacturing processes include plastic injection molding, metal casting, sheet metal fabrication and die cut films made from standard STP and/or IGES data files generated by SolidWorks. First article samples (T-1) are inspected and minor adjustments are made as the tooling is fine tuned for fit and function. These pre-production parts are assembled and evaluated by means of field testing prior to production quantity. All assembly documentation and bill of materials (BOM) are finalized using SolidWorks.
Production: The injection molds are textured and production commences.
This completes a successful product’s development cycle beginning with Industrial Design Conceptualization /Integration; to Mechanical/Product Design; to Prototype/Testing/Validation; to Pre-Production; to Production; to Assembly; and, finally to Distribution into the worldwide marketplace.