3 key steps to product development with a licensed product

I personally worked directly on developing new products with some of the toughest license’s in the business. I guess you could call it a sort of badge of courage. I have worked with Star Wars, Lucas Film and Licensing, Pixar, D&D, Magic, Cranium, Hasbro and Disney. These licensed properties tend to be very complex and rich with details. The world building involved in many of these brands have with stood the test of time. resistance to fads and fashion. In long running properties such as Star Wars you can see how society trends, technology and evolution has changed the look and the feel of the product. A licensed is an amazing person who has to have a true vision of where the product will be and what is the best way to get the IP saturated into the buying market. If it is cool to have Darth Vader work-out sweat bands, then it is up to the licensed to make sure they work with largest best distributed seat band supplier out in the market.

The three main things I found working with a licensed product when developing a new chain of products:

1) understand the work and world of the licensed property. Take the time to understand what and how this world looks like.

2)  No level of detail to small. the better you can reflect their work the better you will be at getting it past through the process. Take the time to explain to the licensed what is physically possible in manufacturing and design and what possible options may exists. Never put a licensed in a position where he or she cannot make a decision. That is there job to make determination on what the product should look like.

3) Make sure that you have accurate details. Many time like in Star Wars property the details change as the movie evolves. Or consistency may not exists. Like an AT-AT walker pending what clip of film you are reviewing there are a number of different AT_AT walker models in each scene. So make sure you are working from reference that the licensed has approved.

I can’t promise that these tips will make you experience working with a particular licensor a pleasant experience , but it will definitely save you on frustration and head aches as the product moves forward.


7 Steps to product development with lean design

This chart is an excellent tool that defines the circularity of the six sigma process. This information can be applied to any phase of the product development process. Pillar Product Design often uses these sets of principles when developing new products for our clients. Following these steps up front will improve and optimize both time, product cost and resources allocation when developing complex multi-phase projects. 

Step 1:  Define the product.
Step 2:  Establish product line optimization team.
Step 3:  Determine your target cost.
Step 4:  Translate requirements into specifications.
Step 5:  Design at a system level.
Step 6:  Design at a detailed Level.
Step 7:  (3) P Product preparation process.

Product Development for the Chuggington toy train project

Pillar Product Design is working with a local creative group to develop components for a new assets for the Chuggington train line. The Chuggington brand is owned by Disney and has really amazing success with the 4 to 8 year old age grades. The Disney portfolio for the Chuggington line is extensive: TV shows, Magazines, DVD sets, books, toys and iphone games.

Pillar is very excited to team up with this creative group on such a popular and amazing brand of products. The Pillar team services for this project includes: 3D CAD design,  world class product development, industrial design, prototyping and project management services.  


Key product design & development steps for your new product or idea.

•Step 1
Come up with a great new idea for something that can be marketed. For instance, you may have an idea for a new watch face, or an idea for how peanut butter could be smoother.

•Step 2
Make sure your idea can become either an actual product or design, or a process. If you have an idea for a new watch face, this would be a design. If you have an idea for making peanut butter smoother, you could develop a process.

•Step 3
Determine the steps for getting your idea from an idea to the product/design or process. If you are going to design a new watch face, you would want to draw up the design on paper of what the design would look like and what materials would be used. To develop smoother peanut butter, you would write the steps involved in the process, and what ingredients and supplies would be needed.

•Step 4
Obtain intellectual property rights over the process or design. Once you have determined what it will take to get your idea to a design or product, you are ready to get legal rights over it. This is an important step because it will protect others from copying your efforts and taking the credit (and making the money for it!)

•Step 5
Intellectual property rights are either patents, trademarks or copyrights. If you have an idea for a new song, you would write out the words and record the music, and then submit both to get a music copyright. If you have a new process, you would get a patent for the process. Trademarks are symbols that can only be used by the owner of the trademark, such as the McDonald’s logo.

•Step 6
Do some research on the product or process. This should include a manufacturing cost study and a market study. These will be needed for you to determine if the product can sell at a profit, and to present to the potential licensee or buyer of the product or intellectual property rights in the process. A product design group such as pillar product design can assist clients in this realm determining the over-all cost of good.

•Step 7
Make a prototype of the product or design. If it’s a new watch face, make one. If it’s a process, use the process to make the product, like the smoother peanut butter. You will need this to present to the licensee/ buyer as well.

•Step 8
Come up with a presentation package for your product or process. You want to have everything packaged together and professional before you present it to the buyer or licensee. The package should include in an easy to read format the studies done, and should also include the prototype.

•Step 9
Decide how you will make money with the product or process. You will either sell the rights to the intellectual property or grant the company a license to use them. If you have a product, you can either make the product yourself and sell it to a company to market, or you can sell them the patent on the product and the process of how to make it so the company can make the product themselves.

•Step 10
Find a buyer or licensee and sell your amazing idea!

iphone G3 solidworks native file

I as recently searching for complete Solid Works 3D models for the Apple products. I came across an amazing data base of parts that allows you to download for free. I obtained a full 3D model of the iPhone 3D. I know you can purchase it off of Turbo Squid for $70 to 125 bucks, but if you developing systems that need to fit all major apple or hand held devices the costs to have these surfaced models can be extensive. On average these models run anywhere from $45 to as high as $135 per model. I found a site that has many of these devices for free including full SW model history. These type of 3D models are so valuable in the product design process. Building an archive of these models is key to make sure that all part fit and function as expected. Recently Pillar Product Design created a (2) new cradles for DGA that needed to fit roughly 10 to 12 different major media devices out on the market. Everything from the Ipod, Nano, shuffle, Touch G3, G4, Droid, Palm and Google Android. It sure would be ideal if each of these companies provided the 3D files with no history, so end developers could be positive that the design is accurate. My guess is that when you pull models off of Turbo Squid that you can find 20+ G3 phones slightly different.

I found this amazing find at the following location: Super cool that folks are putting these models out on the web. As far as I could tell this model is very accurate and well built. Check it out for your self.