Learn with us

For us learning never stops, and that’s why we want to share our knowledge with you.
You can access our blog posts, frequently asked questions and case studies on this page.

The Blog

Frequently asked questions

The design work is complete, what does dmc supply me with?

Throughout the process you will receive sketches, basic renders and videos that help us have conversations while we design. 

At the end of the process you will receive all the necessary files to take to a manufacturer. They may include all or some of these. Depends on what type of product we are developing for you: 

  • A 3D STEP file. this will be your full assembled design. Any manufacturer in the world will be able to open and pull data off. It’s the 3D universal version of a pdf. 
  • PDF drawing files that contain all the necessary data to show what parts need to be manufactured, this includes dimensions etc. 
  • DXF drawing files. These are flat pattern files that are used to manufacture any part from a sheet. This can be for sheet metal, plastic, 
  • Bill of materials, otherwise known as a BOM. This is a list of every part, with quantity, part name, material, finish, etc. 
  • Basic renders of your design. This will be on a colour or transparent background. This can be in JPEG or PNG. 

If you would like the Solidworks files, that can be arranged at a cost.

Do the design packages include prototyping costs?

With all the predesigned packages available, our goal is to get you a working prototype. This does not include any prototyping costs as these will vary from project to project. We supply a design that can be manufactured using normal manufacturing processes.  

As you move from package 1 to 3, it includes more conceptual work, which inevitably will include more back and fourths as we finalise the design.

Please tell me more about Package 1 - Trailblaze

Package 1 is almost zero conceptual work. You bring us a close to fully detailed concept, which we will help craft into a refined, manufacturable version of your concept. This package will be used when you have already run some prototypes, or you have a technical background and have figured out all the details.

We’ll have an initial meet and greet and talk about the product and all of the intricacies and goals for the design. We decide on the full plan forward leaving nothing to conceptualize.  

We then move into CAD straight away and start chipping away at the Solidworks model making sure that all the parts are manufacturable, all the parts will fit together, tolerances are thought of, and the OTS parts are considered.    

When we build the first CAD version, we’ll always be in touch with questions. We want you to be a part of the design decisions so that when we get to the end, we don’t have to loop back because you don’t like something. 

Once we present the CAD model, we have a design review together and discuss the design. 

Then it’s back to the CAD model to make all the changes as discussed. We’ll have one more review after that to make sure all the changes were implemented. 

Then it’s time to prepare all the manufacture instructions and approach a manufacturer for the prototype.

Please tell me more about package 2 - Explore

Package 2 is designed to help those with an idea for a product but do not have the resolved concept yet. Their idea is fairly straight forward, and simple. There’s not going to be too much unknown design work. It’s more of an exercise to flesh out the idea into a few options, then choose one and make a prototype.  

We’ll have an initial meet and greet and talk about the product and all of the intricacies and goals for the design. We start with finalizing a thorough brief, listing everything needed for the project. This aligns both our expectations for the end goal. 

Moving into a purposeful conceptual phase, we create a few concepts that hits the brief and makes sense for manufacture. These concepts will include a few different looks, a variety of features within the design and whatever else pops up in the process. 

Our goal is not to create a totally new idea. You came to us with the idea and direction. We work within that scope.   

We’ll probably have up to three back-and-forth communications between presenting concepts, having design reviews and finalizing a solid concept. 

We then move into detailed CAD to resolve all the little intricacies within the design to make sure the product functions as it should and can be manufactured. This phase will move in incremental steps to make sure you are happy with the decisions made so that you know what to expect at the end.

Once we present the CAD model, we have a design review together and discuss the design. 

Then it’s back to the CAD model to make all the changes as discussed. We’ll have one more review after that to make sure all the changes were implemented. 

Then it’s time to prepare all the manufacture instructions and approach manufacturers for the prototype. 

We’ll supply one minor update of the design, once it’s prototyped.

Please tell me more about Package 3 - Pioneer

Package 3 is designed for people that have a problem and they want to develop a solution for. They don’t know what the concept will look like and want to explore different options right from the start. Our goal is to listen to your story and help develop a business smart, manufacturable solution to your pain point/problem.

We’ll have an initial meet and greet and talk about the problem and all of the intricacies and your story. We’ll work together and develop a thorough brief, creating a mission to solve the pain point. This will be like our North star for the project and set the tone for the rest of the development.  

We then move into a research and conceptual phase. We’ll look into the users and customers surrounding the problem. Understand the market, competitors, and similar ideas. Then we’ll construct holistic, basic theories that could potentially address the problem. 

Throughout this process, we’ll constantly be in communication until we’ve decided on a best route forward to explore.

We take the route we’ve decided on and start to explore concepts within that vision. We’ll probably have up to five back-and-forth communications between presenting concepts, having design reviews and finalizing a solid concept. 

Time to craft the concept into a detailed, manufacturable design to prototype. We resolve all the little intricacies within the product to make sure the product functions as it should and manufacture the prototype. 

Being a pioneer requires patience and holistic thinking. Once the prototype is manufactured, we test against the assumptions we built up addressing the pain point/problem. This will give us valuable feedback.

We’ll then analyse and update the design based on that feedback. We include a major update for the first prototype and one minor update on the second.

What if additional requirements need to be implemented after the first brief?

S**t happens. Its product development. We like to think of ourselves as your partner, which means we want the project to be successful as much as you do.

If you forget something, or something new comes up or circumstances change, we deal with it when it happens. If it’s small, dmc normally includes it within the total fee and you don’t even notice it. 

If it’s substantial and we need to back track and undo a bulk of the work, we’ll chat through the different options and develop a plan forward. 

We’re not here to milk you for all you have. Your success will ultimately lead to more of our success. 

Let’s just be decent humans.

I’m not happy with the service

If you are not happy with our service in the first 3 weeks, we offer a full refund. 

I love the prototype, it’s perfect, what next?

You’ve got a working prototype.

How much will my prototype cost?

There are two important things to remember when building a prototype: 

1. When you build a prototype, you build it for a reason. It might be to test a mechanism, it might be to see how it fits in your hand, it might be to pitch to potential investors. These reasons will drive what sort of manufacturing you should use which will influence the price. We suggest using the most efficient method of prototyping you can to achieve the goal for the prototype.   

2. You are only building one. That means the manufacturers setup costs are only spread out over that one prototype. Manufacturers also take into account that this is the first time they are producing this product and adjust their pricing for any unexpected costs while manufacturing. In other words, costs will be inflated.  

But what does it cost? In the spirit of giving you a little bit of an idea as to what prototypes can cost. Here are some very general estimates, please take with a pinch of salt: 

1. A small sized plastic product, with up to 5 parts, about 10cm to 20cm can cost from R5000 ($300) for a very basic, purely functional prototype, up to R30 000 ($2000) for a beautiful, glossy, perfectly working prototype which you could present as a final product. 

2. A medium sized plastic product, with up to 10 parts, about 30cm to 50cm can cost from R15 000 ($800) for a very basic, purely functional prototype, up to R70 000 ($4500) for a beautifully finished, perfectly working prototype which you can present as a final product.

To understand a bit more about plastic prototyping, see here:

Metal and sheet metal prototyping can get you pretty close to the final product for not much more extra cost than it would be for the mass-produced design. 

3. A small, sheet metal enclosure, with up to 10 parts, no bigger than 60cm can cost you from R8000 ($500) up to R20 000 ($1200). 

A medium sized metal construction, up to 20 parts, no bigger than 120cm can cost you from R15 000 ($1000) up to R50 000 ($3000)

A large metal structure, up to 30 parts, no bigger than 300cm can cost you from R25 000 ($2000) up to R100 000 ($6000)

If you would like to get a better idea of what your product would cost, please get in touch.

Ready to turn your lightbulb moment into a crafted design?