1 | Processing
The selected manufacturing process must be the correct process for the part or product. You don’t want to use high-capitalization processes (such as injection molding), which involve building tools and molds to make small batches of parts that could have been manufactured using low-capitalization methods (such as thermoforming). This is equivalent to crushing an ant mound with a tank, which is a typical case of overkill.
2 | Design
Design is crucial. The actual drawing of the part or product must conform to the good manufacturing principles of the manufacturing process you choose.
For example, in plastic injection molding, the following principles will apply:
• Constant wall thickness for consistent and rapid part cooling;
• Appropriate draft (usually acceptable 1-2 degrees);
• Texture-1 degree for every 0.001 inch of texture depth on the textured sidewall;
• As a rule of thumb, ribs = 60% of the nominal wall;
• Simple transition from thick to thin features;
• The wall thickness cannot be too small-this will increase the injection pressure;
• No undercuts or features that require side action-all features are “on the straight line of the pull/die opening”;
• Specify the loosest tolerances that allow the production of high-quality products-and consult with the trade organization of your manufacturing process regarding reasonable options for the process;
• Make sure to discuss the design with your contract manufacturer, who can ensure that your design conforms to the good manufacturing principles of the chosen process.
3 | Materials
It is important to choose the right material for the part/product.
Some of the material properties to be considered in DFM include:
• Mechanical behavior
• Optical properties
• Thermal performance
• Electrical characteristics
Also, be sure to discuss the materials with your contract manufacturer, they may use existing materials in their product portfolio so that you can ensure lower material prices.
4 | Environment
Your part/product must be designed to withstand the environment it will withstand. If the part does not function properly under its normal working conditions, then all forms in the world will be irrelevant.
5 | Compliance/Test
All products must meet safety and quality standards. Sometimes these are industry standards, others are third-party standards, and some are internal company-specific standards.