Who Are the New DFM Consultants?
You are. Or, you should be.
Design for Manufacturability is not new. Still, a healthy number of product designers don’t know diddly about machining. As a result, you may be asked to magically create components that are 1) impossible to machine or 2) impossible to machine at a reasonable cost. Slight design changes would make machining much cheaper in some cases. But if you’re presented with a component design near the end of the product development cycle, there might not be time to integrate helpful design tweaks.
A couple of left-coast shops have taken a proactive approach to advising customers and prospects about DFM concepts. One is OMW Corporation. This page on OMW’s site offers machining-friendly design tidbits as well as advice about communicating with shops. Joe Osborn, the shop’s owner who created this material, says that Web page has become the prime entry point to his shop’s site. This suggests there are some designers (i.e. potential new customers) out there Googling for that type of information.
Pro CNC has a similar Web page here. But Paul Van Metre, the shop’s president, takes it a step further. He also e-mails a new design tip to customers in a monthly newsletter. The newsletter helps his sales efforts, too, because it’s a marketing tool that’s helpful to customers, not so much “salesy.”
Are you making similar strides to educate your customer about DFM? If so, e-mail me. I’d like to hear about it.