Design for Manufacture best practice case studies

Hello all

I’m looking for examples of excellent DfM. This may be efficient use of materials or process e.g. straight up and down moulding, parts that serve multiple functions (e.g. chassis and heatsink) or otherwise ingenious, inventive or interesting approaches to getting things mass produced.

If you can cite any examples or know of any good links that would be very helpful


You really need to tell us who you are and why you want this info – makes easier to share

I’m an industrial designer in the UK. This is to help with some teaching I’m doing. I could use examples of my own work but that seems a little egotistic.

This is not exactly what you’re looking for, but I use this guide from time to time to help me design parts for injection molding. It’s more on the engineering side, but it’s still very helpful. EDGE

Also check out the Protolabs Resource page. Not quite as good as the Bayer one, but it’s friendlier. Manufacturing Resources | Design Tips, Webinars, White Papers I’ve also found plenty of other part design guides by just Googling “[whatever manufacturing method] design guide”.

Juno - Genome testing device.
"An equally important consideration was the case itself. It’s a few pieces of milled aluminum that have been jigsawed together. Inside, they’re carved with cavernous geometry to accommodate moving parts. On the outside, a rock garden-esque pattern excites the eye, while smoothing over seams. The lines aren’t there to bring a moment of Zen to the lab, nor are they just because Béhar likes to pattern stuff (see: Jawbone speakers and headsets). The etchings serve a functional purpose in that they reduce build time on each case.

Ziba Jump Seat
The JumpSeat is a compact auditorium chair that is ideal for auditoriums, theaters and public assembly areas. Plywood and spring steel create the backbone of the JumpSeat’s cantilevered structure. Folding to less than four inches thick when not in use, the compact seat allows for the maximum amount of people in the minimum amount of space.

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This product was on the Core77 front page some months ago, and debated at that time. There is zero merit to the claim of “reduced build time” or any notion of efficiency. If you wanted to make an efficient casing, you’d die-cast it.

I’m not going to speculate on the efficiency of choosing to CNC this housing without knowing for sure the volume, part cost, tooling cost, part quality and finish, etc. Maybe he chose it for aesthetic and tolerance issues…who knows. This is lab equipment with electronic and moving parts inside so maybe CNC had some advantages over traditional die-casting.
The teachable aspect of it is that the designer (whether merit less or not) took into consideration the process of CNC and what it takes to get a clean finished/polished part. A lot of designers just say “CNC it” not really knowing the steps needed to CNC a part.
If in fact they can machine the pattern and avoid having to progressively go down to a tiny bit and then polishing to get rid of tool marks then it’s awesome. Again, this is just from a press release.

This video is certainly dated but the case study and information is really good. From what I can remember looking into that case a while back, the assembly was automated at one point but the assembly was so simple that paying people to do it was actually cheaper…

The big thing for me is the locating and tolerancing that are cleverly being taken care of.

A couple of videos I use in my teaching to explain both mass production, materials and processes as well as technology in historical context.

This first video explains the process of making scuba cylinders. I use this to compare to Apple’s method of making the Mac Pro enclosure in the second video to show and then explain how processes are derivative of on another over time.

The third video is of mass producing a motorcycle helmet that explains fairly established methods of manufacture. It is a good example of many processes coming together in a very complex functional and safety related product.

Thanks all. I actually went with the Mac Pro but hadn’t seen the comparable Scuba cylinder video before which expands on the hydraulic impact extrusion nicely

Interesting video here Complex Injection Molded Part Using Multiple Pick-Outs - YouTube

Some videos here from commercial furniture company, especially look at the testing involved in the round table.

One of my faves