A11.10 Bringing it home

  • No matter where you’re shipping to/from, be aware of:
    • Import tariffs, duties, and other taxes
    • Manufacturing & delivery estimates
    • Planning for the worst while hoping for the best
  • Strongly recommended: Research & secure a good freight forwarder
    • REGINA — this is for placement as a non-bullet-point at the bottom of the previous slide, not its own slide

A11.9 What to keep in mind when making your final decision

Questions to ask yourself when making your final decision…

  • What was the MOQ?
  • Who was most prompt and transparent?
  • What do their reviews from past clients look like?
  • What are my buyer protections (if any)?
  • What was the quality of the samples I received?
  • Who do I trust the most based on our limited interactions?

A11.8 Requesting samples from your top 3 candidates

Once you’ve found your top 3…

  • Order samples of past, similar products
  • If financially possible, order samples of YOUR product
  • Always be cautious of “the Golden Sample”
    • Order multiple units & insist on the highest quality before proceeding

A11.7 Shopping for a manufacturer

  • How do you find a manufacturer?
    • I’m sure there are other ways, but I turn to Alibaba.com
    • Look for people who have manufactured similar items & materials in the past
    • Look at their ratings & your buyer protections through Alibaba
  • How do you find a manufacturer? (cont’d)
    • IP considerations when manufacturing in China
    • Be careful of anyone who’s coming in dramatically cheaper than others
    • Ultimately: Open a dialogue with your top 7-10 and trust your instincts

A11.6 Manufacturing domestically vs. abroad

Why is practically everyone manufacturing in China?

  • The quality myth
  • The price differences in mold creation
  • The per-unit price differences
    • Mainly due to significantly lower-cost labor & overhead expenses

A11.5 Getting a 3D model printed

Entering another dimension…

  • Your engineer/contractor MAY have the ability to do this
  • Tons of 3D printing services (Shapeways.com)
  • Start with cheaper materials & progress to finer prototypes as you get closer to completion
    • We started with SLA & finished with nylon plastic

A11.4 Handing it off to a CAD designer

  • Notes about hiring a CAD designer
    • Probably want someone with an engineering background
    • Easiest way is probably using UpWork
      • Post ONLY enough detail to give an idea of the work/skills required
  • Notes about hiring a CAD designer (cont’d)
    • This will be your first expensive milestone
      • Cheaping out here will cost you in the long run, so don’t
    • The clearer your instructions + prototyping, the less you’ll ultimately pay

A11.3 Optimizing your design for mass production

Things I wish someone had told me early on…

  • Injection molding for plastic products
  • My experience with non-plastic products
  • Food-safe vs non-food-safe
  • Thought process for optimizing a design for injection molding
  • Example models & manufacturer feedback

A11.2 Roughly designing your product

Before you enlist professional help, you should…

  • Draw sketches yourself, at a bare minimum (no matter how rough they are)
  • Write a detailed description of its key functions & features
  • If you have the ability, create a rough prototype
  • Let’s look at some examples…