The length of time required to design a product is dependent on a few factors. I have had a few people come to me with ideas that are simply that, ideas or thoughts. Other times, I have had people come to me with sketches and prototypes.
If you do your homework and develop the idea yourself so it can later be transitioned to someone else, it will reduce the time required to design the final product. Essentially, you come up with the concept and how you feel it should look and perform. Then, someone else can design it in a 3D model.
However, if you don’t have the time or ability to sketch your ideas, the designer is more than qualified to complete this process for a fee as it will be created from scratch.
When designing a 3D prototype, size doesn’t matter. Something can be six feet long or six inches and there is no difference in the process. What does matter is the amount of detail and parts that you try to fit into the design. If your product has 10 parts, it will, of course, take considerably longer than a product containing two parts. This is the ideal time to simplify your concept and product; be clever in your design. What does this mean? Challenge yourself by reducing those two parts into one part.
When dealing with inventions and concept, there are sometimes parts of the design that require testing and development.
For instance, do you want to see if there is a way to reduce material thickness while also ensuring it does not break? This is where Finite Element Analysis comes handy. The more the designer has to run simulations in FEA, the longer it takes due to longer simulation times. This cost and time should be incorporated into your original quote from the designer if these concerns were initially voiced.
In addition to development areas, if your product involves electrical or electrical components, the design time will also increase. It may be the case that the designer has to outsource the work to obtain dimensions to correctly model the assembly. This process is vital to ensure that there is sufficient room in the design to fit these parts. Some suppliers may require a week to respond to requests for dimensions or may need to send a catalogue of parts to the designer. If you’ve already done your homework, you may have sourced the parts, which saves the designer a great deal of time.