Ben Nibali, founder and President of Aptus Design Works, with Connor Richardson, the Electrical Designer, are our guests in this episode. We will discuss how you can plan the cost and lead times to successfully launch your product in the market.

Ben and Connor share some excellent advice for designers and companies to streamline their product development process from prototyping to manufacturing.


Show Highlights:

  • Aptus is a design and engineering company, and they’ve been around for about 15 years

    • They handle initial concept development, mechanical development, controls, and mechanical prototyping and help their clients through the launching and manufacturing of their products
  • Expecting and avoiding pitfalls comes with experience; in addition, working with trusted vendors and suppliers is huge when honoring set schedules or timeline
  • The natural state of every project is over budget and behind schedule. Ben Nibali stresses the importance of effort and discipline to have complete control of the process  and deliver on time
  • Some unrealistic expectations by Aptus’s clients typically involve defying the law of physics
    • Other challenges include expectations from not knowing the process and cost expectations based on the higher volume of current products that really can’t be met in a US market-based launch scenario
    • Clients need to realize that there is a proper “cost of engineering”
  • There are also misconceptions about 3D printing–in reality, it takes days to print 3D objects
    • You can’t have fast, cheap, and high quality at the same time
  • Software guys may often misunderstand that modifications on hardware  are not as simple to execute as they will be on software
    • The “minimum viable product” is a great idea and works exceptionally well in software because you can add, modify, change, and grow something slowly after you deploy. In hardware, it is an entirely different cost structure to make changes once you start making anything physical. 
  • “Proof of concept” is often neglected when companies want to launch their products immediately
  • Connor Richardson shares the most complex and fun project they did at Aptus
    • Another exciting prototype they created is the cow-milking robot
  • Ben gives designers and companies a piece of advice on how to plan cost and lead times when launching their products
    • The most important factor is market research, understanding what this thing that we're going to sell is? How are we going to sell it? Who's going to buy it? What features matter? 
    • The better the client understands the world they're going to try to sell into and how they're going to sell it, the more valuable our work will be and the higher likelihood that they'll make a profit
  • Creating high-quality products could mean years of planning

Links and Resources:

Connect with Ben Nibali on LinkedIn
Connect with Connor Richardson on LinkedIn
Visit Aptus Design Works website
Watch How APTUS Designworks uses Altium 365 and Altimade to reduce cost and move more quickly
Altium Story presents Breaking down the barriers to progress - APTUS Designworks

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