I’m so excited today to have a guest post over at the Design*Sponge Biz Ladies series. (Welcome to any new readers coming over from D*S!) My post is all about helping find a manufacturer for your product ideas. (It’s focused on finding a local manufacturer whenever possible, which is something that is very important to me.) While my background is in making products by hand, in the last year I’ve gained a lot of experience working with outside manufacturers. If you haven’t already, please check out the post.
I’ve also compiled a list of resources worth checking out if you are thinking about looking for a manufacturer for some or all of your processes:
If you’re unfamiliar with the available processes and techniques, I recommend you check out several books to familiarize yourself with what’s available. Two of my favorites are Making It: Manufacturing Techniques for Product Design by Chris Lefteri and Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals by Rob Thompson. Both cover a wide range of techniques, and showcase products that can help inspire your own design process. Note: Both links are Amazon affiliate links, but I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t think they were fantastic resources!
If you’re trying to hunt down a manufacturer, I would recommend making a stop on ThomasNet. Its an extremely comprehensive resource for manufacturers and suppliers.
More and more manufacturers are adding a web component to their businesses that make it easy to upload a digital file and order parts. A few to check out include eMachineShop, Big Blue Saw, Redeye, and Quickparts.
- “The New Industrial Revolution” in Wired magazine looks at the rise of DIY manufacturing and how the way computers aided the spread of information now transfers to the creation of physical goods.
- The current issue of Make magazine features a special section called “Your Desktop Factory” which looks at ways you can bring 3D manufacturing into your own home or studio.
I’m curious to know if any of my readers have looked into having all or part of a process outsourced? Have you had any experiences looking for a manufacturer? Is this something you are considering for the future? Please read the post over at Design*Sponge and let me know if you have any questions!