What you need to consider about material selection when designing a product

Engineering drawing and orange ruler

What you need to consider about material selection when designing a product

5 Key considerations for material selection when designing a product

Having a structured, lean approach in place when designing a product is a key ingredient to achieve success. However, choosing the best materials for your project is just as important. Material properties can impact how a design will look and perform – and making wrong, ill-informed decisions could spell disaster for industrial designers.

Therefore, taking key considerations into account for material selections is an important step for an industrial design project. Have a look below at some of the most important questions that design teams need to consider for material designs.

  1. What is the objective of your design?

What does your intended design need to achieve in order to achieve success? What problems does it need to solve and how will the material that you choose allow you to reach your objectives? Your material selection is a key player when it comes to project success and should be considered upfront before diving into the design process.

  1. Have you considered material costs? 

Once you have clarity on the materials that are suitable for your project, it is a given that you will next be considering costs. Here it is important to find solutions for high-quality, cost-effective materials. Materials needn’t be the most expensive on the market, but they do need to provide optimal results – which is something that your objective for your design can guide you to.

  1. What would the impact on the environment be?

Using sustainable materials will have less of an impact on the environment than those that are not eco-friendly or produced in a way that if harmful for the environment. So, consider the manufacturing process of the materials you plan to use in your designs as well.

  1. What are the functional requirements of your design?

Are you designing a product with moveable parts? Or is it a static design that needs to be sturdy? Does your design need to be pliable? When selecting materials, it is important to not select pieces that will not fulfil the functional requirements of a design, for instance, choosing delicate materials for a robust product.

  1. Have you considered the constraints of your design?

Most material designs have certain criteria that need to be taken into account, such as the set sizes of the final products, under which circumstances they will be used, whether for domestic or commercial functions, and how they will need to perform in certain conditions. The final material selections, therefore, need to fit in with these constraints in order to deliver the desired results.

Make material selections that count

By carefully analysing designs and considering how different materials will perform in the final designs will guide industrial designers to make smart decisions for successful projects. Material properties are a valuable component for any task, and those designers that take extra care with their choice of materials will achieve greater success than those that don’t.

At Moss&Schmidt, we carefully consider the materials that will be used for our final designs and how they will provide an optimal experience. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about our design processes.