7 Stages of Industrial Design Application

Industrial Design Stages

Do you have an idea for developing a new product and you do not know how to get started? Don't you know how to differentiate from your competition or how to create your new product in the best value for money? Welcome to the exciting world of industrial design!

The above questions - and many more - are more than reasonable. In the same way, it is also reasonable that you may feel that the distance you need to cover from the conception of the idea to the production of your new product is enormous.

This point is critical. The correct industrial design process is a catalytic factor for the success (or if not, the failure) of your venture.
The proper methodology, the holistic approach, a very good study of the problem and of course creativity, are essential elements of a successful product design.

In GE SUPPLiES we understand how critical is the above for your success. That is why we created the necessary process to ensure a great quality of services. This process is carefully and consistently applied to all of our projects.

Below we present the seven (7) stages of the industrial design process we apply, from the presentation of the original idea to the creation and delivery of the final files and documents.

Industrial Design Infographic

1. Briefing

The briefing is the first necessary step in the product design process.

At this stage, you will have to present the idea that you have, what are the needs that you want to cover or what is the problem that you want to solve.

An experienced industrial designer will ask you the right questions in order to get a complete picture of your idea with all its aspects.

At the end of this stage, the project summary is created (briefing) and its objectives are specified.

The brief will be the guide that will then direct the work of the industrial designer. For this reason, it has to be complete and clear.

2. Research

The second stage refers to the research. We learn more about your industry and we investigate your competition (direct and indirect) and similar or related products that exist on the market.

Competitive products on the market, their specifications, their manufacturing materials, their design and the techniques they incorporate are being identified and examined.

The purpose of the research stage is to find one or more elements of differentiation of the product under design with respect to the available products of the competition.

3. Brainstorming

At the stage of brainstorming, we document as many alternative solutions and differentiation from competition as possible.

In particular, alternative sketches and drawings are created. These sketches are still in a prototype form, they are usually small, incomplete designs that are quickly created, touching various aspects of the product and have not yet been examined as to whether they are feasible or not. 

4. Concepts

At this stage, the ideas of the brainstorming are evaluated and the best ideas are combined and processed to form a complete design. Through the evaluation and synthesis process, three different concepts are created.

It is likely that these proposals will be fewer or more than three, depending on the needs and particularities of the project.

It is worth mentioning that although the concepts at this stage represent a complete proposal, a full and in-depth development of each one has not yet been made.

At this stage, in order to better evaluate the concepts, it may be necessary to produce a prototype, either in real size or in scale.

5. Presentation

The previous stages (2 to 4) are related to the work done by the industrial designer, based on the brief created after the first meeting with you.

Now is the time for the second meeting. The purpose of this is to present our concepts to you.

During the presentation of our alternative suggestions, we explain the rationale behind each proposal, all their elements and features, the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal.

Together we evaluate them in order to select one of them or a combination of different features from more than one proposal. The one that you will select will be the final concept that will be developed further.

6. Development

At this stage, we focus on the selected alternative and we work on finishing the final product. We review all the individual details to ensure that the project meets all the requirements and objectives of the initial brief.

As in step 4 of the concept, also at this stage, it is likely that a prototype will be needed to help us with the final tests.

We have almost reached the end of the process and we make a final check with you for any last minute changes.

7. Delivery

The final stage concerns the delivery to you of all the final files and documents. These include the three-dimensional models of all the different components of the product and the model of the assembly, the technical drawings and some photorealistic images of the new product.

Having the above files at your disposal - and of course in your property - you can contact potential suppliers and/or manufacturers in order to collect and compare offers and proceed with the production of your new product.

Finally, in case you ask for it, we can guide you and advise you on choosing the right suppliers, depending on the requirements of the product.


6 Criteria for Selecting a 3D Scanner

Non-contact three-dimensional scanning has become increasingly popular lately in the industry, particularly in projects related to Research & Development of new products. Non-contact three-dimensional scanning has become increasingly popular lately in the industry, particularly in projects related to Research & Development of new products.

There are two main categories of 3D scanners that have prevailed in the market: laser scanners and structured light scanners. In each category, there are plenty of brands and models that practically cover all kinds of 3D scanning needs. The capabilities, applications, and cost of the 3D scanners vary considerably.

So what are the criteria according to which you should choose the right 3D scanner for your own needs?

In addition to your budget, it's also of crucial importance that you know the application (or applications) for which you want to implement three-dimensional scanning and the actual needs of your application in regards to the required accuracy, speed, safety, lighting conditions and finally whether the object to be scanned is moving or not.

Below, we examine all of the above criteria one by one and we compare the two categories of three-dimensional scanners (laser and structured light) for each of these criteria.

1. Accuracy 

 Structured light scanner technology achieves significantly higher accuracy than laser technology.Laser scanners scan the object only once as the laser beam passes over the illuminated object. In particular, they are based on a point that spans into a line, which then scans an entire field. In other words, the scan is executed stretching a one-dimensional line into a two-dimensional region.For this reason, the laser scanner accuracy levels are not so satisfactory.Instead, structured light scanners scan the subject many times, with patterns that change in width and phase. In this way, they evaluate in an excessive way the shape of the object during each scan and because of the repeatability of the readings, they achieve much greater accuracy.

Given that, if your scans are intended for professional use and your application requirements are high, a structured light scanner is a more secure choice.

2. Object Motion Considerations 

Laser line triangulation is the optimal solution when the object to be scanned is in motion.

Another factor that you should consider is whether the object to be scanned is in motion or stationary at the point of inspection.If the object to be scanned is on the move, then the laser scanner is the right type of scanner in your case.As the object moves beyond the field of view of the scanner, laser scanners have the ability to collect a series of partial scans from the laser beam. Then, three dimensional smart sensors with built-in software perform the automated assembly of these scans in a complete three-dimensional digital model of the surface of the object.

Structured light is the best choice when the object is stationary at the inspection point.

However, if the object to be scanned is stationary, structured light scanners excel because they take a sequence of images through different patterns of lights projected onto the surface of the subject.In this way, they create a complete three-dimensional point cloud of the geometry of the subject (whereas in case the object moves during the data acquisition process, errors may occur in the results).

As a conclusion, if you plan to capture an object while on the move (for example, a tool or machine while working), your only choice is a laser scanner.

3. Speed 

Time is money especially in our times where technological developments are running at a dizzying pace. Therefore, the speed of scanning is a criterion that cannot be ignored while choosing a three-dimensional scanner. Generally one could sustain that laser scanners have an inherent advantage in terms of speed because they only do one single sweep in contrast to the structured light scanners that do multiple. However, the speed of structured light scanners has improved a lot over the years. With the help of advanced built-in cameras and faster processors, they can now complete a scan with over 1,000,000 points in less than a second!

Therefore, in terms of speed, it cannot be claimed that one type of scanner is superior to the other. Nevertheless, it is important to check the speed in the technical specifications of the model you are interested in buying.

4. Lighting conditions 

An additional factor that you have to consider before selecting a 3D scanner is the lighting conditions under which the scanning will take place.Lighting in the working environment may vary significantly and is not subject to control. This may dramatically affect the performance of the three-dimensional scanner's sensors, resulting in incorrect data (and subsequently measurements) or possibly no data at all. In case you plan to scan indoors, you can do so equally well with both a laser scanner and a structured light scanning.

Instead, when it comes to outdoor scans, things are different. In particular, in outdoor lighting conditions laser scanners excel because they have the advantage of projecting a very specific and narrow wavelength and thus effectively eliminate ambient light. Of course, you should keep in mind that if lighting conditions are difficult (or intense), the results of laser scanning may be relatively noisy and inaccurate. On the other hand, structured light scanners are limited by the light intensity of the bulb and the level of contrast of the projector.Thus, even in office environments or industrial environments (although their use is generally not a problem), the projector and the sensors should be properly adjusted so that the results are optimal.

5. Safety 

Safety is an important factor that no one can ignore.In the case of structured light scanners, there is absolutely no reason to worry since they mostly use LED illumination with white or blue light. Consequently, they do not present any safety issues.Laser scanners on the other hand, due to their ability - as mentioned above - to focus light intensity and energy in a very small space, present an inherent safety issue mainly for the eyes, depending on the class in which they are categorized.Higher laser power improves the performance of the scanner in environmental lighting (with shorter exposure time and higher speed scans), however, this increases safety concerns.Indeed, some of the lasers used in 3D scanners today have been found unsuitable for the eyes.

Having said that, in case you intend to use the 3d scanner for human-scanning applications, keep in mind that there are laser systems specifically designed for this purpose (such as body and face scanning) and evaluated for their safety.

6. Cost 

The cost of three-dimensional scanners available in the market varies greatly and depends on various criteria, such as their accuracy, incorporation of technological innovations, aesthetics and more.Regardless of the technology implemented (laser or structured light), as the levels of quality, accuracy and reliability of the three-dimensional scanner increase, the cost of the purchase increases as well.However, today, three-dimensional scanning technology has matured enough to make 3D scanners affordable even for professional applications.

In any case, good knowledge of your real needs in combination with the available options in the market will help you make the best value for money choice.

Laser scanners are the right choice when the subject is on the move or when the scan has to be performed in external lighting conditions.Instead, structured light scanners are superior in precision and safety, while the latest models have improved significantly in speed.
No one can claim that one technology is superior to the other. Both technologies have advantages and evolve continuously to eliminate or reduce their weaknesses.The choice of the appropriate type of 3D scanner depends on the needs and requirements of the application for which it is intended.

In GE SUPPLiES, we can help you choose the right three-dimensional scanner according to your application and its requirements. Alternatively, if your application does not justify the investment on a 3D Scanner, we can perform the three-dimensional scanning for you and provide you with the required files and reports.

For more information, you can contact us directly at 210 6640411 (Mrs. Sofia Arkoudaki) or fill in your details here and we will contact you as soon as possible. 


3D Scanning - Techniques & Process of Digitalization

In today's age of digitalization, 3d scanning has stepped up to cover the gap between the material and digital world. The recent exponential growth of newly developed technologies inevitably bore the idea and consequently rendered possible the digitalization of three-dimensional objects.
 The process of acquiring three-dimensional data based on real objects can be a challenge, especially when the object's geometrical complexity is high, such as that of a mechanical component of a car. Depicting a complex object's geometry on a computer had previously been painstakingly time-consuming.
 However, the development of powerful computing systems have made it possible to depict not only an object's geometrical, but also its chromatic information with great time-efficiency and to establish a continuously evolving market for 3D scanners.
3D scanning allows for a faster three-dimensional digitalization as compared to other more conventional methods. Having established its position as the most convenient way to depict the shape of an already existing object, it can be applied in multiple sectors, not only including marine shipping, automotive industries, architecture, design and modelling, packaging, but even medical and scientific sectors and academic research.
Once you are holding a digital copy of your object, inspecting as well as modifying its geometry can be done in an instant. Even the production of identical copies of your original object with whatever processing method is most convenient to your application's needs becomes no more than a matter of taking the decision to do so.
Techniques of 3D Scanning  CNC 82 ALLPACK Kopalnia 300x249
The use of a three-dimensional Scanner results in the acquisition of a dense point cloud based on the surface of the respective object, the processing of which leads us to the final three-dimensional model. The aforementioned points share an identical cartesian coordinate system. Each of them carries information that places it at a precise position within three-dimensional space, which corresponds to a position on the surface of the object that has been digitalized.
3D Scanners can be categorized based on a multitude of criteria. Nonetheless, the two most prevalent categories are linked to the method of gathering the point cloud of the object's surface, differentiating between those that utilize physical contact with the object and those that don't. Thus, the two categories one can find on the market currently refer to contact and non-contact 3D Scanners. In their turn, non-contact 3D Scanners can be broken down into active or passive scanners. Each one of the aforementioned categories embodies a variety of technologies.
Categories of 3D Scanners
Contact 3D Scanners explore the object by coming into physical contact with it while the object is placed on a specific flat surface. In case that the object's curvature prevents it from assuming a stable position on any surface, it will be held by an additional accessory.
This method holds various disadvantages due to the contact of the scanner with the objects, as this might alter their geometry.
The development of non-contact 3D Scanners provided a solution to that problem, as they operate based on active as well as passive approaches so as to capture the object without altering it.
The majority of active 3d scanners emit a certain kind of radioactivity or light. In that way, either the absorption of the radioactivity or the reflection of the light are measured and thus the representation of the object (or the space) is achieved.
The most common types of emission are those utilizing light, ultrasound as well as x-rays.
While active scanners emit light or radioactivity themselves during the scanning process, passive scanning techniques are based on reflected radiation of the environmental light and detect visible light since it is directly available.
Scanners utilizing passive techniques are cheaper compared to those that rely on an active approach, as in most cases they do not require any further specific hardware than mere digital cameras.
CNC 82 ALLPACK reverse engineeringDigitalization
Three-dimensional scanning, as mentioned previously, can be applied in a multitude of sectors and industries. Namely, some of its most frequent applications would be in quality control and reverse engineering.
The process of scanning often represents the easiest part of digitalization, while the creation of an accurate three-dimensional representation of an object with irregular surfaces usually requires time and a high amount of manual labor.
While three-dimensional scanning is an important new tool for the documentation of objects with high complexity, it is only one part of a digitalization project, taking into consideration that the mere collection of data is not enough. 
Since the time needed in order to create an accurate three-dimensional model is often higher than the time required for the actual scanning, a high level of focus needs to be given to the data processing stage that follows the scanning process. The steps that are completed during the data processing stage aim to make effective use of the data provided by the scanner.
In its entity, the process of digitalization - that is the series of steps from the data depiction up until the final visual representation of the three-dimensional data model - includes the collection of geometrical data, the alignment and consolidation of the individual scans, their conversion into a polygonal mesh and finally the simplification of the mesh as well as the elimination of any eventual geometrical disruptions (the geometrical reconstruction where gaps have been detected).
The end-result of this process is an stl file.
In case of reverse engineering applications, this file is used as a reference point for the reconstruction of a three-dimensional model that can be read by modern construction machines.
On the other hand, in case the scanning is performed for the inspection of an object, the process is slightly shorter as it does not require the creation of a 3d model after developing the polygonal mesh (stl file). To the contrary, the mesh is compared to the already existing three-dimensional digital model in order to confirm the physical object's accuracy versus the ideal standard model.
Success Stories
Metallurgy - Quality Control
Metalpol has applied 3d scanning to the Quality Control department for its produced casting parts. Utilizing an automated 3D scanning system consistent of a scanner and a rotary table, the scanning process of heavy and large-sized castings can be accomplished swiftly. Thanks to a strict quality control process, the manufacturer now has the possibility to evaluate a test casting comparing it to a CAD model provided by the client. After the test casting has been approved by the responsible department, a full quality report is sent to the client, based on which the latter can provide approval for the commercial production of the end-product. Applying three-dimensional scanning to their process reduced the time needed until commercial production by 300% while simultaneously reduced costs by 10.000€ on a quarterly basis.
Automotive Industry - Reverse Engineering
Introducing three-dimensional scanning to their maintenance department, allowed for Cooper Standard to create a fully digital library of the molds used during production. Now, the preparation of new shapes and tools is not only faster, but above all less costly. As a result of the application of 3D Scanning, "Cooper Standard" has reduced the average production time by 400% while also lowering costs by 500%, saving more than 15.000€ by quarter.
Plastic Industry - Rapid prototyping
The utilization of three-dimensional scanning in ROSINSKI's R&D department, allowed for lower cost as well as faster improvement of the molds and tools used in production. The modification of tools and prototypes can now be completed twice as fast, directly accelerating commercial production of customer products and leading to substantial savings.
The exponential growth in powerful computing systems and the dramatic improvement in the sector of three-dimensional real-time graphics are playing a major role in the development of three-dimensional scanners as well as in their increased popularity. Consequently, today's possibilities to manage complex three-dimensional geometry on low-cost platforms, enable the visualization of detailed and highly accurate three-dimensional models. As computing systems will keep evolving, continuous and sustained growth of 3d scanning technologies is to be expected, providing us with ever improving results.
Exploiting current developments and the advantages 3d scanning has to offer, GE SUPPLiES provides highly qualitative services of reverse engineering and geometric inspection, ensuring maximum accuracy which cannot be achieved with other conventional methods.
Through usage of specialized processing software after the scanning of an object, GE SUPPLiES’ clients receive colour imaging files of high accuracy that can be used for immediate and user-friendly comparison of the actual object to the initial three-dimensional file, quality control reports that include complete analysis and capture of the dimensional deviations from the initial design, as well as mechanical and three-dimensional drawings.