It might take a bit of digging, but the results may well be worth the hunt. Finally, if you want to skip the manufacturer search altogether, then check out Quirky. Hopefully, this list of resources will make it easier to bring your concept to life for your customers. Manufacturing Photo via Shutterstock. Thank you.
Since businesses are rarely operated by a one-man team, you always need other people for the other processes of your business. It really does level the playing field in terms of competitiveness. Quirky site sounds like a fascinating idea! I have to check it out. Could you share some business cases? Awesome list here Matt, thanks for sharing! This is perfect because another way to use this list is if you have a B2B business and you need leads! Great job! Great to see so many resources listed, but you missed one!
Utelier is an online platform that connects fashion designers and manufacturers and even experts worldwide. If you have any questions you can email me julie utelier. Thank you for these great resouces. I am an Inventor an new start up company who is looking to License my first product. It is called The FishCaller a fishing product which attaches to any fishing pole and uses sonic vibrations specific resonant frequency to attract fish to your bait. It is currently on Kickstarter right now.
I will soon be featured on NewsWatch30 on the Discovery Channel which will help promote and fund the product. Do you have any listings of companies who are looking to license products such as this? Thank you Matt for this compiled info. Exactly what i was looking for online. Many people have great ideas of new product. But they might do not know what the next? Below are some of my opinion for your reference. I have been in plastic injection molding and tooling for more than 6 years. From my experience,when you come up with some new projects, you need to know:.
Usually, different materials are made by different processing. For example, when your new project is a metal part, you should not find a plastic manufacturer. If it is made of metal, do you know what the processing it should be? If not sure, do you have samples or prototypes available? All manufacturers custom make parts as per samples or prototypes or 3D drawings.
Metals are usually made by die casting it is also called metal injection molding or MIM , stamping, or extruding. If it is made of plastic, they can usually be made by plastic injection molding, blow molding, rotocasting, extruding, rotational molding,etc. Also, plastic injection molding is the widest used method.
For which processing, it depends on the design or constructure of the part. If you are not sure, come to us for help. Money,of course. To make prototypes, you can find a local rapid prototyping company to do it. If just need to be similar to an existing product, you can get a similar sample from existing market, and tell the manufacture where you need modifications. If it is not new, just need to copy, you can easily get a sample.
To make 3D design drawing, one of my customers, I heard that he finds a university engineering major student to create the first 3D. And then send to the manufacturer, the manufacturer must know where should be modified, as the student might not know knowledges in manufacturing. Thanks and looking forward for your reply!
Sometimes though you might have to pay for official testing, and this can be expensive, so bear this in mind. I would strongly recommend getting professional advise on all things relating to standards before making any decisions. I mentioned intellectual property earlier on. The Golden Rule of Intellectual Property, is this:. There are 4 main types of intellectual property that you can acquire, either for free and automatically, or by paying the relevant organisation.
Patents protect how something works, but not how it looks. They are often the strongest form of ideas that function in new and unique ways. Patents take the form of complex lengthy documents that are best written by lawyers and the patent application process is lengthy, tricky, and expensive. They protect nothing about the product itself.
They are the easiest of the three listed so far in terms of the application process and also the cheapest. Think about it, why do you always buy that particular brand of clothing, ice cream or notebook? Do you know what the best bit about copyright is? Copyright last for your entire lifetime plus another 70 years thereafter.
Can You Keep A Secret? The recipe for Coca Cola is closely guarded trade secrets, with only a select few people in the world knowing the whole recipe. Intellectual property is a huge, dense topic that takes years to understand fully.
With this in mind, I thought it might be useful to share an example of how an existing company might be taking advantage of intellectual property. So, how have Apple made use of intellectual property so far? As you can see, intellectual property can be used in many different ways to protect ideas and help people and companies take a hold in the market and start making money. So ask yourself this…. As promised here are a few places to look to learn more about IP.
European Intellectual Property Office — for protection in Europe. I am NOT an expect in intellectual property. I have shared my opinions here, but not they are just that, opinions. Nothing I have said should be considered legal advice, instead please consult with qualified intellectual property lawyers or solicitors for this. Okay, moving on….
This has got to be the most exciting stage of bringing your idea to market. After all, this is the point at which your prototype becomes a product. How exciting is that! This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Do you plan on producing a few hundred and selling them locally, or do you plan on eventually producing them in the hundreds of thousands and selling them worldwide? The answer to this question is very important, as it will likely dictate which of the following four manufacturing routes you choose to take. Producing products by commission means they are made only when they are ordered and paid for.
These are often bespoke items like jewelry or art. Small Batch Production. This is a method whereby a few dozen or few hundred units of an item might be made at anyone time. This is relatively new and growing in popularity. It is a method whereby a customer orders a particular product and it is automatically produced there and then.
An example of this is when a customers buys a product from an inventor selling on Shapeways. Mass Customization is a variant of On Demand Production where each individual product can be customized, but in a way that is scaleable, unlike commission. An example would be a company like Moonpig , who print a huge number of gift cards everyday, but each one is unique to the customer who ordered it. Mass Production. This method involves paying a factory to produce many of your product for you in one go. This is the most expensive of the four options to get started, for two reasons:.
Below is a graph showing how each method approximately relates to one another.
On the y axis we have the cost of each product produced, i. On the x axis we have the setup cost. This is the amount of costs incurred before production can even begin. On the face of it, On Demand production looks like a great choice! Unfortunately however it currently only lends itself well to things that can be:.
However, if the way your product is designed allows for it, you could start at one end of the spectrum, producing on-demand or in small batches, and work your way up to mass production over time. Manufacturing is a fickle thing. There are simply too many manufacturing processes to cover in this article, but I will leave you with a few examples along with the sorts of requirements they have. Injection molding is a process very commonly used to make objects from plastic. Everything from your smartphone case to the lid on your shampoo bottle is likely made using injection molding.
The thing with injection molding is that the walls of your part should be as uniform as possible. It should also have draft angles which allow it to be removed from the mold, sort of like how ice cube trays have slanted sides so the cubes fall out. There are many more guidelines to follow other than these.
The prototyping company Protolabs has a good set of resources here. There are certain, different considerations for finishing the design of parts which will be machined:. Protolabs have some resources on CNC machining too here. There a vast array of other manufacturing processes out there. These include: die casting, stamping, punching, extruding, wire bending, deep drawing, CNC spinning, welding, forging, rolling, weaving, blow molding, laminating, vacuum casting, composite manufacturing… the list goes on!
Ultimately, ensuring that your part is suitable for manufacturer will require a mix of these three things:. If this process proves too difficult with too many unknowns, it might be worth consulting a product development firm or a freelance product designer at this point for some advice. Money is an enabler. Money is a tool that can be used to build things and… to make more money! The idea of raising money to start producing your product might be a daunting one.
But the good news is that there are lots of options out there. Well, not zero exactly. But if your product can be made from scratch, with little startup cost, why not make the first few yourself? You can then sell them, one at a time, to friends, family and strangers on the internet. You can then save some of this money until you can afford to pay someone else to make a larger number for you.
For example, say you had an idea for a new kind of wallet. This means that if your product requires a sizable upfront investment, you can raise the money you need by selling the product in advance and then turning around to the factory and placing your first order. Given time, proper research and a lot of hard work though, they can be done successfully!
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Yes, everything is cheaper these days, but you get what you pay for. Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization SEO to get organic search engine traffic is ideal if you are already established, and have a budget that you can invest into an ongoing campaign without seeing much of a return over the first couple of months. Email address. Hello there Dave! Discuss any ideas or visions that you may have for your brand and product, and show them examples of other package designs or brands that you like. Third, I learned that there is indeed a huge gap of quality expectations between Chinese and Western factories. Try to be realistic here rather than imaginative.
There are lots of design competitions out there offering prize money to the winning ideas. Consider entering a few… you never know! One of the things that I am taking much more seriously in my new ecommerce company is the need to differentiate your products in some way. The old private label model of buying the same products as everyone else from China and slapping your bar code on them is a dying business model.
For one of the new products that I am developing, my initial thought was to have the product first manufactured in China. But then it occurred to me that I have a friend who works at a metal factory in Canada that could make the product for me. So rather than have the product first made in China, I decided to have it made in Canada first and get a real understanding of the entire manufacturing process without the language and cultural barriers involved with manufacturing in China. With this article I hope to give you an overview of the manufacturing process along with some of the differences and similarities between Chinese and Western factories I experienced.
The part I am trying to have customized and manufactured is two pieces of aluminum. The two pieces are connected with a bolt and nut. I am customizing the size, shape, and the functionality of these items. In my experience, the factories and suppliers most relevant to private labelers more or less focus on one of the product types below:. For the part I am having made the process involved the steps below. Life is so much harder for factories dealing with international clients who have to arrange to have items shipped to the ports, arrange export documentation, etc.
The sales rep offered to create the CAD drawing for me of the part I was trying to create. A CAD Computer-aided design drawing is basically a 2D drawing of an object that can be read by a machine and then cut.
I was surprised how easy it was to actually create a CAD drawing that could then be read by a machine—I felt empowered to create more challenging products in the future! Once the CAD drawing was complete, I simply emailed it over to my sales rep. I realized that this first step, speaking to a sales rep, is really where problems start to occur when dealing with Chinese factories.
First, when speaking with a Canadian sales rep there is zero language barrier. Explaining something like an off-roading vehicle part is a lot easier to do with a Western person. This is in sharp contrast with the sales reps you encounter when dealing with a factory that you meet on Alibaba. There is a huge language barrier and on top of this, this person is almost certainly a recent graduate from university.
The Canadian factory was spotless. A picture of a product being made in a Canadian factory. Factories mostly use machines to produce products, not people. There was one significant difference I noticed as I toured the Canadian factory though — quality control. Poor quality products is the stigma of made in China products and unfortunately touring the Canadian factory definitely re-enforced this stereotype. Metal discarded simply because of small imperfections.
All throughout my tour of the Canadian factory, quality control was paramount. And it was more than simple lip service. I walked by a large piece of stainless steel with what looked like an exploding snowman engraved on it.