Challenge and solution

Challenge

Challenge

NoiseAware needed to adhere to lean startup methodologies for validating, testing, and iterating on ideas quickly and cost-effectively. As the early prototyping phase would have cost them upwards of $20,000 if outsourced, it was essential that they found a way to produce functional prototypes for field testing with customers to improve design, acoustic performance, system architecture, device provisioning, radio frequency (RF) transmission, and more.

Solution

Solution

Rapid prototyping on Ultimaker 3 allows NoiseAware to fully test their product before sending it to supply chain partners for final production. 3D printing has reduced outsourcing costs from $800 to less than $10 per prototyped product, narrowing production time from days to mere hours. Additionally, they’re able to demonstrate value to customers, potential investors, and vendors by supplying tangible products for demonstrations.

Cost comparison

Ultimaker 3D printer

External vendor

Costs $10 per product Costs $800 per product
Time 2 to 55 hours Time 5 to 15 days

As Head of Product Garrett Dobbs states, “The cost of completing our required prototyping with a vendor would have covered the cost of the Ultimaker four times over by now. If we skip prototyping, we risk the future of our company by manufacturing an untested product.”

Results

Functional prototypes for testing

Functional prototypes for testing

The NoiseAware team creates functional prototypes using the Ultimaker 3, allowing them to test features like design, acoustic performance, and RF transmission for immediate feedback.

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Reliability for steady production

Reliability for steady production

Their in-house Ultimaker 3 runs for hours and sometimes days at a time, which means that they’re able to cycle through as many iterations as needed to ensure overall success of the final product.

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Design flexibility for alterations

Design flexibility for alterations

The possibility of unlimited product iterations means that the NoiseAware team can design and redesign their products to suit customer needs, constantly improving for the best possible results.

3D printing in product design
Enhanced startup productivity

Enhanced startup productivity

With functional prototypes, NoiseAware experiences enhanced productivity in a startup environment, discovering possible production barriers and coming up with solutions through design iterations.

3D printing for functional prototyping

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