At ML24, we believe in a systematic approach to every project, taking it one step at a time. Our specialized workflow is designed to minimize errors and achieve the best possible design through a process of elimination. Below is a detailed breakdown of each phase with brief explanations.
Project Brief and Research
During the initial meetings, we perform a brief to fully comprehend the project's objective and involvement. This is where a project timeline is created, including its corresponding phases. The brief will also determine which phases are essential for the project.
2D Sketch Development
When starting a creative project, like designing a new product, the first step is to develop 2D sketches. During this phase, many sketches are created using pencils and digital tools to explore different ideas and solutions. Sketching is a quick way to get ideas on paper and figure out what will work best. Additionally, the sketches can help determine if 3D laser scanning is needed and whether a scanning session is necessary.
3D Laser Scanning
As previously discussed in the project planning phase, the 3D laser scanning session will gather all the required data. This includes scanning full-sized vehicles, small-scale clay models, motorcycles, and a variety of small objects or fixtures. Typically, the 3D CAD design phase cannot commence until the laser scanning is finished and the data is reverse-engineered.
After the completion of 3D laser scanning, the collected data undergoes reverse-engineering and re-surfacing. The specific amount and locations of re-surfacing are determined in advance during previous phases. This process provides us with precise information required for the subsequent phase, which is 3D CAD modeling.
3D CAD Design
The process of creating a new design (or repairing and replacing parts) in 3D space is known as CAD design. During the 3D CAD phase, ideas and 2D designs are translated into complex shapes and surfaces, creating virtual geometry. This data can then be represented as photo-realistic renderings, providing a visualization of the end product. This phase is essential in the design development process as the 3D data is WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get), and often presents the final opportunity to make necessary changes and adjustments.
After finalizing the 3D CAD design, we program the data for rapid prototyping or 3D printing. This step is crucial because it allows us to gain a full understanding of the physical geometry and surfaces, which may be challenging to do on a computer or in 2D graphics. By printing the parts, we can physically install and test-fit them, enabling us to analyze if any changes or adjustments are necessary. This helps us improve the functionality or resolve any unforeseen issues.
Review and Finalize
Once the aforementioned phases have been completed, the project can proceed to the finalization stage and be prepared for engineering and manufacturing.