Fabrication processes which add material using a variety of “3D printing” type processes to create a final part or item geometry with a minimum of secondary processes required. The technologies involved have previously been associated with rapid prototyping, but when these technologies are able to directly produce parts for products, additive manufacturing is a better description.
The American Society Of Mechanical Engineers promotes the art, science & practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the globe.
American Society for Quality is a global community of people passionate about quality, who use the tools, their ideas and expertise to make our world work better.
American Society for Testing and Materials was organized in 1898 and is one of the world’s largest international standards developing organizations. Applied to just about everything from steel to sustainability, their work improves the lives of millions every day across the globe.
Boundary Representation – solids modeling approach based on representing exterior surfaces that define a solid (as opposed to constructive solid geometry).
A mathematical interpolation method for describing complex curves and surfaces.
An improvement process in which a company measures the performance of its products or processes against that of best-in-class products or companies, determines how the product or company achieved their performance level, and uses the information to improve its own performance.
Beta Testing is the testing a nearly-finished version of a piece of software or hardware, with the goal of finding defects missed by the developers. Beta testing is generally carried out by people outside of the developers organization such as actual or potential customers or users.
Bill of Material
A Bill of Material (BOM) is a hierarchical list of subassemblies, components and/or raw materials that make up a higher-level component, assembly, product or system. An engineering BOM represents the assembly structure implied by the parts lists on drawings and drawing tree structure. A manufacturing BOM represents the assembly build-up the way a product is manufactured.
A creativity technique in which a group of people think of ideas related to a particular topic, listing as many possible ideas as possible before any critical evaluation of the ideas is performed.
Method used to promote the product to the consumer. A proper branding campaign can be more effective than patenting to protect your protect from knockoffs.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is the use of a computer to assist in the creation and modification of a design, most commonly, designs with a heavy engineering content.
Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) is the use of computers in design, analysis, and manufacturing of a product, process, or project. Sometimes refers more narrowly to the use of computers only in the analysis stage.
Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is the use of the computer description of the part or assembly to drive planning, cutting, forming, assembly and inspection of the item via computerized applications.
Cloud of Points
A set of x-y-z coordinates obtained from a 3D scanner or digitizer. The data can be interpreted as a continuous surface and used in a 3D model. This is often used for reverse engineering.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is one in which the functions and motions of a machine tool are controlled by means of a prepared program containing coded alphanumeric data. CNC can control the motions of the workpiece or tool, the input parameters such as feed, depth of cut, speed, and the functions such as turning spindle on/off, turning coolant on/off.
Contacting a company for the first time to pitch your idea/product and not knowing anyone within the company.
Working together, cooperating. A process of maximizing both cooperative and assertive behavior to satisfy two parties in conflict with one another.
Methods and activities for transforming disaggregated public competitor information into relevant and strategic knowledge about competitors’ position, size, efforts and trends. The term refers to the broad practice of collecting, analyzing, and communicating the best available information on competitive trends occurring outside one’s own company.
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Computational Fluid Dynamics is the numerical analysis of fluid and gas flow, heat transfer, and related phenomena. CFD solvers contain a complex set of algorithms used for modeling and simulating the flow of fluids, gases, heat, and electric currents.
An idea for a new product or system that is represented in the form of a written description, a sketch, block diagram or simple model. A concept is the earliest representation of a new product or of alternative approaches to designing a new product.
A physical model or representation intended primarily for design review, product conceptualization and customer feedback. This model is usually not sufficiently accurate or durable for full functional and physical testing.
The process by which a concept statement, sketch or model is presented to customers for their reactions. These reactions can either be used to permit the developer to estimate the sales value of the concept or to make changes to the concept to enhance its potential sales value.
Product that is built similar to the original and is in direct competition with the original product. It may also be in violation of the original products patent. The term for this violation is called infringement.
A formal activity employed to rectify a cost target breach or to reduce the cost of an existing product or design. A cost reduction effort has a specific quantified objective and may affect schedule, performance or support to achieve this objective.
Theoretically exact planes, lines or points from which other features are located on design drawings.
Design reviews are formal technical reviews conducted during the development of a product to assure that the requirements, concept, product or process satisfies the requirements of that stage of development, the design is sound, the issues are understood, the risks are being managed, any problems are identified, and needed solutions proposed. Typical design reviews include: requirements review, concept/preliminary design review, final design review, and a production readiness/launch review.
Testing to assure that the product conforms to defined user needs and requirements. This normally occurs toward the end of the Design Phase following successful design verification and prior to pilot production, beta/market testing, and product launch. Design validation is normally performed on the final product under defined, operating conditions. Multiple validations may be performed if there are different intended uses.
Design for Assembly (DFA) refers to the principles of designing assemblies so that they are more manufacturable. DFA principles address general part size and geometry for handling and orientation, features to facilitate insertion, assembly orientation for part insertion and fastening, fastening principles, etc. The objective of DFA is to reduce manufacturing effort and cost related to assembly processes.
Design for Disassembly (DFD) is a set of principles used to guide designers in designing products that are easy to disassemble for recycling, remanufacturing, or servicing.
Design for Environment (DFE) is a process for the systematic consideration during design of issues associated with environmental safety and health over the entire product life cycle. DFE can be thought of as the migration of traditional pollution prevention concepts upstream into the development phase of products before production and use.
1. Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is a methodology for designing product’s in a way that facilitates the fabrication of the product’s components and their assembly into the overall product. It is synonymous with Design for Manufacturability / Assembly.
2. Design for Manufacturability (narrow definition) is a methodology for designing product’s components in a way that facilitates their fabrication. It is also used in a broader sense to include design for assembly.
Design For Reliability (DFR) is methodology and set of principles to enhance product reliability and reduce overall low life-cycle costs. It is based on early involvement of reliability engineering working with design engineering to enhance reliability by performing steps such as the following: reliability program planning, reliability predictions, parts derating, thermal analysis, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), fault tree analysis (FTA), availability and system modeling, HALT/HASS, design verification testing, product return rate analysis, FRACAS, and root cause failure analysis.
Design for Serviceability (DFS) is a set of principles and a methodology for analyzing product concepts or designs for characteristics and design features which reduce service requirements and frequency, facilitate diagnosis, and minimize the time and effort to disassemble, repair/replace, and reassemble the product as part of the service process.
Solids modeling capabilities that enable complete products to be built in electronic form. The mockups can be used to check for problems such as interference and clashes between components. Using digital mockups reduces the cost and time of development since physical models do not need to be built. Synonymous with digital pre-assembly, electronic mock-up, and assembly modeling.
Cost that can be specifically identified or traced to an activity, cost object or final cost objective.
Data Exchange Format – format for CAD drawings often used to transfer CAD data from one system or program to another.
1. Engineering Data Management
2. Engineering Document Management
3. Electronic Document Management
4. Electrical Discharge Machining
End-of-Life (EOL) is the term applied to products or components that are being retired from the market because of technology obsolescence or rapidly declining demand.
A modification to a component, product configuration, or document from currently defined and approved status. Changes cause version or revision levels of affected items to be updated.
Ergonomics is the science of designing products and work to be consistent with the capabilities and limitations of the human body.
Agreement between the Inventor and the company stating that the company will be the only party entitled to manufacture and sell your product. It is normally written for one market or all markets for the life of the contract.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency within the US Public Health Service that provides a number of health-related services to protect the public.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a computer-based method that breaks geometry into elements and links a series of equations to each, which are then solved simultaneously to evaluate the behavior of the entire system. Most often used for structural analysis, but widely applicable for other types of analysis and simulation, including thermal, fluid, and electromagnetic.
A manufacturing feature that blends two surfaces together.
Gantt Chart is a diagram used in project management, where the x axis is time and the y axis shows tasks to be performed to complete the project. Each task is displayed as a horizontal bar spanning the time period during which it is expected to take place. Arrows may be drawn from one task to another to indicate dependencies (when one task can’t be begun until another is completed). The Gantt chart was developed by Charles Gantt in 1917.
Highly Accelorated Life Test
Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) is a process developed to uncover design defects and weaknesses in electronic and mechanical assemblies using a vibration system combined with rapid high and low temperature changes. The purpose of HALT is to optimize product reliability by identifying the functional and destructive limits of a product. HALT addresses reliability issues at an early stage in product development.
Hyper-Text Mark-up Language – the mark-up language used as the basis for the world-wide web.
Human Factors refers to the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds. It furthers serious consideration of knowledge about the assignment of appropriate functions for humans and machines, whether people serve as operators, maintainers, or users in the system. And, it advocates systematic use of such knowledge to achieve compatibility in the design of interactive systems of people, machines, and environments to ensure their effectiveness, safety, and ease of performance.
Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) is a neutral file format used to exchange vector and text data among CAD systems. It was the first widely-used neutral file format used for mechanical CAD data interchange.
Inclusive design is a design approach whereby designers insure that their products and services address the needs of the widest possible audience. Inclusive design is intended to address groups such as the aged or disabled that many products otherwise would not be suitable. The seven principles of inclusive design are:
(1) equitable use,
(2) flexibility in use
(3) simple and intuitive use,
(4) perceptible information,
(5) tolerance for error,
(6) low physical effort, and
(7) size and space for approach and use.
Costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives that can not be readily identified to a single cost objective and readily treated as a direct cost. A cost that is allocated as opposed to being traced.
Industrial Design is the design that is done in companies and consultancies by people trained in industrial design, or in art and design schools in general. Industrial design focuses on the physical form and interactive properties as opposed to the functioning of the product or system.
Proprietary knowledge, design information, or other intangible information or representations that have value to an organization or individual. In electronic system design, this is design information (e.g., cells, cores, etc.) packaged for re-use whose ownership must be addressed before it can be used.
Person(s) or group that invests money for the development and production of your idea/product. This investment is for a portion/ownership of the company/product.
International Standards Organization is a specialized international agency for standardization composed of the national standards bodies of 91 countries.
ISO 9000 is a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. The standards, initially published in 1987, are not specific to any particular industry, product or service.
Amount you are paid for services rendered if the deal/contract is cancelled.
1. A Laboratory is a test facility that may include chemical, metallurgical, dimensional, physical, electrical, reliability testing or test validation. 2. A Laboratory is a research facility that supports development and testing under controlled conditions.
The process of entering, placing, routing, and verifying the location of physical components and their connections within a board design.
Lean Product Development
Based on the application of the lean thinking principles to developing new products. This starts with defining what is of value to the customer, eliminating waste in the design of a new product by actions to achieve its target cost and making the product manufacturable. It also focuses on eliminating waste in the development process and making the value-creating steps flow with techniques such as pipeline management and pull scheduling. Finally, Lean Product Development requires organizing the right resources on the development team and empowering the team. The final step is to focus on learning, amplify learning across the organization, and continuously improving.
Letter of Intent / MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)
Used to state each parties intent and course of action to meet a common goal. These documents are normally followed by a formal contract between the two parties once everyone is in agreement.
Level of Detail
The ability to vary the amount of details displayed in a graphics image to improve performance. For instance, at a distance, models can appear as simple 3D figures, but as users zoom in, a more detailed representation is presented.
Licensing Agent or Broker
Person that represents you and your product to possible investors, manufacturers, and licensing companies. They get a percentage of the royalties of any licensing deal accepted as part of their services.
Document stating the terms of payment both parties agree to for licensing the product. These include, minimums, advances, royalties, payment schedule, length of contract and assigned rights.
Life Cycle Analysis
Life Cycle Analysis is a method to assist with the quantification and evaluation of environmental burdens and impacts associated with product systems and activities, from the extraction of raw materials in the earth to end-of-life disposal. LCA is increasingly used by industries, governments and environmental groups to assist with decision making for environment-related strategies and materials selection.
The characteristic of a product’s design that facilitates the fabrication of the product’s components and their assembly into the overall product with the objective of reducing cost and improving quality.
The testing of a new product, its packaging, messaging, and its marketing plan (e.g., market channels, promotion plan, etc.) to determine how successful the planned product marketing approach is or what changes need to be made.
Mechanical Computer-Aided Design
Mechanical Computer-Aided Engineering
Manufacturing Defect Analyzer (automated test equipment)
1. Mechanical Engineer
2. Manufacturing Engineer
Minimum Royalty Payment
Lowest amount per your contract you will receive quarterly in royalties no matter how many units of the product are sold.
Clause in the contract that states whether your product sells a certain amount units or not, you still get paid a certain amount per year.
Modular Design consists of combining standardized building blocks or “modules” in a variety of ways to create unique finished products. Thus, even though the parts and assemblies may be standardized, the finished product is unique.
New Product Development
New Product Development is the business process for developing new hardware, software and service products for the enterprise. It includes all activities from development of the idea or concept for the product, the development of the product and its processes, and the launch of the product into production and into the market place.
New Prodyct Introduction
1. New Product Introduction refers to the set of activities that occur once a product has been developed and is ready to be introduced into the marketplace. 2. New Product Introduction is used by some organizations synonymously with new product development.
Document that both parties signs agreeing to keep any information discussed or shown confidential. Each party must get a signed original for their records of the document.
Agreement that the company has the right to manufacture and sell your product, but the Inventor is still able to make the same agreement with other companies.
Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline – method of representing curves and surfaces in CAD system using B-splines and algorithms to represent any complex curve or surface as a single equation by breaking them up into many pieces.
Open innovation is the concept of looking beyond one’s own organization for innovations, technology and intellectual property as a basis for products, services, and processes. It recognizes that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (i.e. patents) from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm’s business should be taken outside the company (e.g., through licensing, joint ventures, spin-offs). In contrast, closed innovation refers to processes that limit the use of internal knowledge within a company and make little or no use of external knowledge.
The economic value of the benefit that is sacrificed when an alternative course of action is taken.
A data model that contains the complete geometric and functional representation of a part and its characteristics. A comprehensive part model would also contain related analysis, configuration, manufacturing and support data.
Works with the product developer/Inventor to negotiate patent agreements. Similar to a Patent attorney, but is normally not a lawyer.
Writes patent claims, researches the patent , and works to help the client obtain a patent on their idea/product.
Search done by a patent lawyer or patenting firm to see if any other patent has been issued on the same or similar concept you have in mind. Any claims similar to yours will have to be addressed and rebuttal as to why yours is unique from the patent issued.
Product / Project Brief
A summary document that communicates essential information about the development project and the product to be developed and is used to guide the development effort. Product or project briefs contain information such as a description of the intended market or customer; a description of the product including its key characteristics; critical technology and its status; a product strategy and its basis of competition; the target cost and target price; essential project information (boundary conditions) such as development cost, development schedule, milestones, and required resources/personnel; and significant risks.
Product Development Team
A team consisting of representatives from marketing, engineering, manufacturing, finance. purchasing, test, quality, finance and any other required disciplines with responsibility for developing a product or product subsystem. This team is empowered to represent the functional disciplines and develop a product by addressing its life cycle requirements including its product and support.
A product family is a set of individual products that share common technology and address a related set of market applications. Product families include a number of products or product lines targeted at somewhat different markets or usage situations.
Product Launch begins once a product has been developed and a decision is made to proceed with production and marketing. It consists of all of the steps to plan and prepare for production of the product including ramp-up to full-volume production or general availability; the steps to plan, promote, market and sell the product, and the steps to prepare for servicing and support of the product.
Product Life Cycle
1. The Product Life Cycle (PLC) from a Marketing perspective is typically defined by its sales volume profile and broken down into the following phases: introduction, growth, maturity and decay. 2. The Product Life Cycle (PLC) from the broader enterprise and user perspective is defined by phases of its overall life: concept, development, production, operation, support, and disposal.
Product lines consist of similar products sold to one general market with different cost, feature and performance variations for each product within the product line. The products have some characteristics, customers, and/or uses in common and may also share technologies, distribution channels, prices, services, etc.
Product Road Map
A tabular or graphic representation of product plans mapped against time to show the evolution of product models, their capabilities and the relationships to one another. Product roadmaps may be based on an individual product line or a product platform, and it may also show the relationship to supporting technologies. The product roadmap represents the long-term product plan to meet the needs of a defined market.
Production Launch begins at the point that a product has been developed and is ready to begin production and proceeds through ramping-up production to full volume or general availability. It is the narrower set of Product Launch activities focusing on production and excluding marketing, support and service.
The management process, tools, and techniques used to define the project’s goal; plan, schedule, and budget all the work necessary to reach that goal; lead the project; monitor progress; and ensure that the project is completed in a satisfactory way.
Proof of Concept
The ability to demonstrate via a prototype, engineering model, or 3-D animation that your product actually will work as claimed.
A physical model or representation of the new product concept or design. Depending upon the purpose, prototypes may be non-working models or representations, functionally working, or both functionally and geometrically complete and accurate. Prototypes (physical, electronic, digital, analytical, etc.) can be used for the purpose of, but not limited to: a) assessing the feasibility of a new or unfamiliar technology, b)assessing or mitigating technical risk, c) validating requirements, d) demonstrating critical features, e) qualifying a product, e) qualifying a process, f) characterizing performance or product features, or g) elucidating physical principles.
Quick Turn Prototyping
Production on a quick turnaround basis of a small quantity of products that are used to prove the design.
Research and Development
Rapid Manufacturing refers to the use rapid prototyping technologies to directly manufacture low volumes of parts.
Rapid Prototyping refers to various technologies such as stereolithography and selective laser sintering that can rapidly create parts for visualization, product mock-ups, or functional product prototypes or produce rapid tooling to manufacture small to medium volumes of parts. Rapid prototyping or 3D printing processes involve devices, ranging from office modelers to four-ton machines, that accept 3D CAD files, slice the data into cross-sections, and construct layers from the bottom up, bonding one on top of the other, to produce physical prototypes.
Rapid Tooling refers to the use rapid prototyping technologies to fabricate tooling in a much shorter period of time than conventional tooling. Rapid tooling technologies include methods such as RTV molds, high-speed milling, centrifugal casting, etc.
Price stores charge the consumer for the product.
Retainer or Hold Fee
Monetary payment made to inventor to allow company to keep your product/idea longer for further evaluation or development without the Inventor sending it to another company.
Reverse engineering refers to the procedure of carefully dismantling and inspecting a competitor’s product to look for design features that can be incorporated into one’s own product.
Request for Proposal / Request for Quotation
ROI / Return on Investment
This is what investors look at before putting in any money. What will the return in profits to them be versus how much they have to put in? This is where they decide what the risk factor is.
A graphical representation of costs, hours, technological progress and other factors. The name is derived from the S-like shape of the curve that is flatter at the beginning, accelerates sharply, and then tails-off. As it relates to technology, the S-Curve is flat when the technology is first invented (technology performance improves slowly and incrementally). Then, as experience with a new technology accrues, the rate of performance increase grows and technology performance increases by leaps and bounds. Finally, some of the performance limits of a new technology start to be reached and performance growth slows.
Society of Automotive Engineers
The sum of products and services to be provided as part of a project.
Selective Laser Sintering
Selective Laser Sintering – a rapid prototyping technology that uses a laser to trace a pattern on a powdered material to fuse it into a solid on layer after another to form a solid object.
one or two page document with drawings, and benefit explanations specific to the product. This allows the reader to get a full overview of the product and its marketability.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
A set of activities that results in software products. Software development may include new development, modification, reuse, re-engineering, maintenance, or any other activities that result in software products.
A geometric modeling method that completely and unambiguously describes both the exterior and interior of a part or assembly in three dimensions (geometry, topology and mass properties).
The determination of sources from which goods and/or services may be obtained to meet the needs of a new product during development and production.
Specifications are boundaries, usually set by management, engineering, or customers, within which a system must operate. They are sometimes called engineering tolerances.
A portion or phase of the product development process with a clear objective of milestone that ends with a stage-gate review before authority is granted to proceed with the next stage or phase.
Special Test Equipment
Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (ISO 10303) – An international product data standard to provide an complete, unambiguous, computer-interpretable definition of the physical and functional characteristics of a product throughout its life cycle.
A rapid prototyping (RP) process, introduced in 1987 by 3D Systems Inc. which launched the RP industry. A Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA) machine builds physical models in this manner: it focuses an ultraviolet (UV) light onto the surface of a vat filled with liquid photopolymer. The light beam, moving under computer control, draws each layer of an object onto the surface of the liquid. Wherever the beam strikes the surface, liquid changes to solid. 3D parts are built from the bottom up, one layer at a time; when the part is finished, it is exposed to UV light for curing.
A 3D modeling technique to describe geometry by its surfaces. This is typically used where surface shape is critical such as the design of auto body panels and aerostructures and industrial design.
Small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Characteristics of high-performing teams include: a shared, elevating vision or goal, a sense of team identity, a results-driven structure, competent team members, a commitment to the team, mutual trust, interdependence among team members, effective communication, a sense of autonomy, a sense of empowerment, small team size, and a high level of enjoyment.
Time to Marketing
1. Cycle time of product development from conception of a new product to initial sale of the new product. 2. Dimension of strategy focused on getting products to market quickly as the basis of competition.
Upper and lower limits of some dimension or parameter relating to a component part, material or assembly which an actual item must comply with in order for it to be acceptable in procurement or manufacturing. The difference between the upper and lower tolerance is the tolerance spread.
Design methodology whereby an entire design is decomposed into its major components, and then these components are further decomposed into their major components, etc. The constraints are established early in the design flow, and then are passed on and adhered to by the back-end processes.
In contrast to getting a patent on an invention, the inventor or firm can simply attempt to keep secret the new aspect of the product.
Upfront Payment or “Advance on Royalties”
Payment made prior to the product going to market to the Inventor. Once the product is on the market the Inventor does not receive any royalties until the advance is equaled in royalties paying the company back for the advance.
Universal Resource Locator – A series of letters or numbers that acts as an address for a world wide web (WWW) site.
Goal-oriented set of interactions between external users and the system or product under development. Use cases capture who (users) does what (interactions) with the system, for what purpose (goal). A complete set of use cases specifies all the different ways to use the system, and thus defines all behavior required of the system without dealing with the internal structure of the system.
1. Value Engineering is a structured methodology for applying value analysis or function analysis to increase customer or user value. 2. A formal technique to eliminate, without impairing essential functions or characteristics, anything that unnecessarily increases the cost of a product. It is a disciplined system for accomplishing the functions that the customer needs and wants at the lowest cost.
Use of numerical analysis tools to analyze a design instead of building and testing a physical prototype.
Technology that enables users to “enter” and navigate through a computer-generated 3D environment. It allows users to change their viewpoint and interact with objects created in the environment in a way that mimics the real world.
Virtual Product Development
A statement or promise made to the customer that a product being offered for sale is fit for the purpose being claimed. The promise concerns primarily what the seller will do if the product performs below expectations or turns out to be defective in some way. The promise (warranty) may be full (complete protection) or limited (some corrective steps), under terms of the Magnuson-Moss Act of 1975.
The price the manufacturer charges distributors, vendors and stores for the product. This price is what is used to base the inventors’ royalty percentage payment.
A geometric model that describes 3D geometry by outlining its edges, similar to a “stick figure”.
Companies will sometimes send out a list specifying the areas they want to see new ideas .
Work For Hire
Normally a fee paid for services rendered where the person providing the service has no legal ownership of the finished product. Example- you have a prototype made by a company. They performed the work but you own the finished product. If you sell a million of them they do not get any further compensation than the fee you paid for the original service of having the prototype made.