I hope this article can help some people who are looking to get a product designed. Just yesterday I designed a custom water bottle silicone sleeve for a client (his name is Luke). At first, it seemed very straightforward: It just needs to a cylinder with a cutout. Luke sent me an image of a product on the market that it should look similar to. I designed this and sent it over. The picture at the top is the final design in CAD.
Here is where some newbies to product design don’t realize the complexity. First of all, as much as I wish I could, I can’t read your mind. So I will design it the best that I can to your specs but it’s highly unlikely I will nail it the first time. After Luke got the image, he realized it needed a few changes. The shape of the cutouts was slight different than he wanted. Additionally, I pointed out a few areas where the requested design of the product could have some failures (i.e. weak spots where the silicone could tear). We got together on facetime, and by sharing my screen I was able to make his requested changes in real time and I was able to come to a compromise on the design look versus strength so that the product would be robust.
My summary of this article is that it is important for the client and engineer to collaborate on the design, both due to vision of what the client really wants and the technical realities of product quality and manufacturability.
Have questions on product design? Leave a comment, email me firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me 412-855-9118
Luke is a top amazon seller of private label goods. His water bottle sleeve is not produced yet but you can see some of his other products on his site here: