I recently got an email from a long term client that I have a great working realtionship with. It went something like this. We’ve decided to have the part engineered in **** as it will be molded there…-hope you aren’t offended…If it needs to be corrected, we’ll have you do it. Fear not, we have many other projects to send you.
I’ve changed the message around quite a bit but you get the idea. I’ve always known that the value was in the concept. Should I start marketing “Free CAD with purchase of concept development”??? In a way, I’m flattered that they like my ideas and are looking for more but I can’t afford to turn down projects based on whether or not I can do them start to finish… I know some people like conceive “digitally” but design starts with a paper and pencil for me. Should I feel burned that I will no longer be able to exercise my CAD skills or is there a market for people like me who can think and draw at the same time??
this has been a big problem the past few years and it is getting worse! To compete my company now offers “free” CAD work on all projects requiring engineering. In reality what we do is hide the cost of CAD / modeling… in the cost of Engineering. The truth is that many clients do not know the difference between engineering and CAD as all they really see (or want to see) on most projects is the final stage not the process of getting there.
The bad news:
I just got back from a trip to India interviewing engineering consultants to do our “back-office CAD” work. They are only charging $10 - $20 per hour for full 3-D models and 3-D tool designs. We do the concepts here in the US, shoot them our crappy 3-D concept models, they add rounds and draft, generate full detailed engineering drawings - then design the injection molding tools in 3-D. Everyone speaks perfect English and they hire more engineers when the work load increases. Assembly line engineering. And they were REALLY smart guys.
The good news…
Their ID capabilities were weak. But things may change in the future.
we looked at having our “back end” CAD work done in India (English is the business language of India) however in the end we decided to keep it in house. India was cheeper but we felt that it was going to take to much time on our end doing quality control.
Ultimately, I want to help my clients reach their goals. If more drawing is what it is going to take, so be it. I’m happy to do it and it looks as if the value of a drawing just went up.
Also, If any of you haven’t been to 1099.com, you might appreciate the Picasso story. Charging By the Project or the Hour