Key Vocabulary

Below are key words and vocabulary with basic definitions used in industrial design and product development throughout the industry.

Design: To envision, conceive or fashion in the mind; invent, to develop, to formulate a plan. To compose, layout, assemble. To seek and define artistic style and form – semantic meaning – perception of form, based on the intended purpose, pleasure to the eyes. May be 2, 3 or 4 dimensional, not always functional.

Industrial Design: (ID) is an applied art based on scientific, mechanical & electrical engineering principles whereby the aesthetics and usability of products may be improved for marketability and high volume manufacturing production. ID strives to improve attractiveness, reduce component costs, assembly and manufactured packaging costs, seeking to satisfy customer needs and capture market share and profits. The role of an Industrial Design consulting firm or Industrial Designer is to be the voice of the end users. It is his or her job to know what the consumer wants to purchase and use. ID is used to create and execute “accessible” human-centered universal product system, design solutions working with the sales & marketing, engineering, manufacturing & production team leaders.

Industrial Design supports entrepreneurs and manufactures in creating and developing new patents, inventions, concepts, technology application and specifications that optimize the function, performance, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both users, owners and manufacturers.

Product Development: (PD) is the art, science and engineering of industrial design and development of mass production manufactured products. A “product”, in ISO vocabulary, can mean a physical object, or services, or software. New Product Development is typically led by Industrial Designers and Engineers, like WhiteLight Design, teaming with the sales, marketing, and engineering management and leaders to define the product development criteria goals, objectives and scheduling protocols. From ice scrapers to cell phones, kitchen appliances to life giving medical products, product development is the catalyst and golden thread that weaves WD’s services and capabilities together, that drives user-awarded design and commercial profitability.

Design Engineering: (Eng) The application of scientific and mathematical principles as applied to the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, products, machines, procedures, or methods, processes & systems. “Engineering” encompasses a wide spectrum of sub disciplines including; design, systems, mechanical, electrical, electronic, biomechanical, biomedical, chemical, materials, polymer, plastic, metallurgical, human factors, user interface, ergonomics, manufacturing, tooling, production automation, acoustic, optical, hydraulic, pneumatic, nano, etc.

Design Patent: is based on ornamental drawings and is valid for a 14 term limit. Design patents can be invalidated if the design has practical utility, (i.e. the shape of a simple gear).

CAD: Computer-Aided Design 3D virtual modeling software & hardware.

CAE: Computer Aided Engineering 3D virtual simulation (Predictive Analysis)

CAM: Computer Aided Manufacturing – CNC

Confidentiality / Non-Disclosure Protection: An inventor or company can protect its confidential information or intellectual property (IP) through Confidentiality & Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) or in clauses of a formal services agreement or contracts. Based on the NDA agreement, the law of protection of confidential information effectively allows a perpetual monopoly in respect to the trade secret information – it does not expire as would a patent. Where trade secrets are recognized, the creator of such knowledge regarded is entitled to regard such “special knowledge” as intellectual property. The lack of formal protection of a signed Confidentiality and NDA agreement means that a third party is not prevented from independently duplicating and using the secret information once it is discovered NDA agreement may have an effective 3-5 year period which can be updated as needed.

Copyright: A symbolized “©” generally seeks to protect literary, artistic and other creative works Some examples include: plays, movies, musical compositions, audio recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, software, radio and television broadcasts of live and other performances

Innovation: The act of developing something new; the introduction of something new; a significant step or “leap frog” quality. A market changing new idea, method or device; the successful exploitation of new ideas or technologies; change that creates better performance.

Patent Infringement: A legal proceeding seeking compensation from someone or company who directly copies the whole or some part of a patent, becoming liable for damages (including back-dated royalties), seizure, and injunction from the date the patent is granted.

Patent Pending: ” The “Patent Pending” status or “patent applied for” is an official reference to a patent application to potential infringers that has been filed, but prior to the patent being granted.

Prototype: A prototype is an original type, form, or instance of some thing serving as a typical example, basis, epitome, or standard for other things of the same category.

Provisional Patent: A “written only” protection – based on non provisional application within 12 months, where available.

Royalty/Royalties: Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party (the “licensee”) to another (the “licensor”) for ongoing use of an asset, most typically an intellectual property (IP) right. Royalties are usually determined periodically as a percentage of gross or net sales derived from use of the asset or a fixed price per unit sold.

Trademark: Designated by a symbolized “™” defined as a formal “name”, word, phrase, graphic logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. Granted trademark rights are valid as long as it is used in commercial business with appropriate refilling procedures. Trademark rights must be reissued or they are forfeited if not used or abandoned with in a 5 year term in most countries.

Utility Patent: Utility Patents are based on the individual written claims and supporting drawings and prior art. The most important aspect of a patent is the claim or claims which must point out and distinctly declare the intent, layout and solution of the subject matter which you regard as the invention. The claims define the scope of the protection of the patent and the choice of wording of the claims is critical to a patent and the examiner granting such claims as patentable. Depending on the country of origin, term limit of the patent in the United Sates is 20 years from the filing date.

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Other Key Vocabulary A – Z

Aesthetics: Aesthetics is a artistic concept or perceived pleasure to the eye striving for simplicity, beauty, pure form follows function.

Assembly Drawing: An assembly drawings’ principal purpose is to check all parts and assembly, part details. It is an important drawing check prior to tool release.

Bill of Materials (BOM): A summary list of component parts identifying part numbers, drawing numbers, design revision level, part name, manufacturing process, quantity of parts per assembly, sub-assemblies, material type and grade, material colors.

Breadboard Models: Mechanical mock-ups to demonstrate desired function and performance. Used in EE for PCB – for initial circuit diagram – components – proof of concept.

Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a group creativity technique designed to generate a multiple number of new ideas for the solution to a problem. Researchers propose that groups can double their creative output by using brainstorming. Although brainstorming can be productive in sparking unique or previously thought of solutions, directions or associations, its effectiveness for enhancing either quantity or quality of ideas generated is not proven. WD relies on the saturation method of emerging the development team into the problem, becoming users, to generate real human insights into solving the problem.

Business Plan: A business plan is a written document which is focused on the analysis, planning and implementation of new product development in respect to all resources, personnel, machines, equipment systems and delivery of product in business to generate a profit and return on investment.

Construction Layout: Preliminary layout is the foundation for the product manufacturing assembly design.

Color Study: A color study is an visual tool exploring and selecting a variety of colors or schemes to be applied to a product or product family. Whether or not a color combination is successful is assessed in the visual balance and harmony of the final composition. Use of successful color combination begins with the understanding and investigation of color relationships.

Concept Development: Concept Development is the process of generating ideas and problem solving leading to solutions. Development leads to building on previous ideas, merging ideas, and evolving ideas into more authentic new solutions.

DCO: Design Change Orders or revisions

Design for Manufacturing: When designing a product for manufacture, it is critical to develop the design direction sufficiently enough to ensure that your design intent is developed and communicated correctly.

Design Research: Design research refers to the intentional and specific practice of using research m techniques and practices such as field studies, literature and periodical research, focus analysis telephone and personal interviewing, video recording, to expand knowledge and understanding or insights into a particular subject, application or market

ECO: Engineering Change Orders usually must be Client authorized and documented with a CAD file and/or drawing revision designation number such as Drawing 100.2 – or Revision 2

Ergonomics: Ergonomics is the science of creating products, spaces, and experiences to fit the human scale and natural expectations of users.

Fair Market Value: (FMV) is a term in both law and accounting to based on an estimate of what a buyer would pay a seller for any piece of property. It is a common way of evaluating the value of property when assessing damages to be awarded for the loss of or damage to the property, generally in a claim under tort or a contract of insurance.

FDM: Fused Deposition Modeling, material is extruded through a specially designed head to build the solid model layer by layer.

FEA: Finite Element Analysis, the use of software and experienced engineers to evaluate a part using 3-D models.

Focus Group: A focus group usually consists of a small group of people within the target market of the concept being tested.

“Form Follows Function” Defined by architect Louis Sullivan, the phrase “form follows function” is representative of the thought that the way a product functions is more important than and should dictate how the product’s form should look.

Functional Appearance Model: A functional appearance model is a prototype that ‘looks like’ and ‘works like’ a production product, even though it may not actually be manufactured in the exact way the final design is meant to be produced

Hard Tooling: Refers to mass production use of hard tooling materials such as aluminum or steel materials to create low or high pressure – high volume thermoforming, blow molding or injection molds, based on a core and cavity.

Ideation: Ideation is the creative exploration of new possibilities based on an idea. This is how designers find different concepts to choose from. Many times, ideation is a process of: think, sketch/prototype, evaluate, and repeat. When this is the case, the best concepts are usually found when more time is invested in the ideation process, because more ideas get the chance to build on one another.

Innovation: Innovation is the art of making things better by using creativity. Product Innovation is the art of making products better. Innovation a defined as a significant leap in the knowledge or way of doing things. I.E. BlueRay HD DVD is considered an innovation in the video format market.

Intellectual Property: In law, intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term for various legal entitlements which attach to certain names, written and recorded media, and inventions. The holders of these legal entitlements may exercise various exclusive rights in relation to the subject matter of the IP. The term intellectual property reflects the idea that the defined subject matter is the product of the mind or the intellect. Unfortunately, IP laws and enforcement vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Invention Development: The process of turning ideas into concepts into patentable inventions which may include design practices of ideation, brainstorming, sketching, prototyping, and research.

License Agreement: A license agreement defines the terms under which intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights is licensed by one party to another, either without restriction or subject to a limitation on term, business or geographic territory, type of product, etc. License agreements are typically private contracts that follow a general structure. However, certain types of franchise agreements have comparable provisions.

Manufacturing Development
Development for manufacture involves taking the design into CAD drawing and prototype formats that are ready for mass production. This includes generating a virtual 3D CAD files for soft and hard tooling with a bill of materials, materials and process specifications that will optimize manufacturing piece price costs

Materials and Materials Science: (See materials engineering) study of engineering materials properties and their mechanical behavior in general (such as stress, deformation, strain and stress-strain relations), mass (weight), volume, texture, color, touch (temperature), hardness (resisting shape change), strength, considered in terms of yield strength, compressive strength, tensile strength, and shear strength

OEM :Original Equipment Manufacturer

PCB: Printed Circuit Boards PCB’s are used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, or traces, etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. Assembling and organizing or populating the board with electronic components forms a printed circuit assembly.

Part Details Part Construction: A geometric layout as an individual part, most often drawn to full scale. Enlarged details/sections are included for clarity. Exact dimensions, tolerances and specifications are detailed.

Product Design & Product Development: Product design and product development are the art and science of industrial design and the new product development process. Taking a product all the way through the mass manufactured process, in a cost effective manner delivering the 3D CAD files that are ready for pre-production prototyping and manufacturing tooling release.

Product Development Firm: A product development firm typically includes industrial designers and engineers that lead and manage a product development program from concept to prototype to manufacturing. Deliverables typically include the 3D CAD files, a complete 2D drawing assembly package documentation and a prototype model.

Product Royalty Licensing: Product Licensing involves a contract between a manufacturer licensee and an inventor licensor, based on a where the manufacture pays a small royalty percentage to the inventor for every product manufactured or sold.

Product Development Plan: A product development plan explains how you are going to develop a product to meet a market need. Defines how you are going to develop a product using the defined services to meet a design criteria and ultimately the users and market need.

Product Rendering: A product rendering is a 2D visual illustration of a product typically drawn in 2 or 3 point perspective using light, shadow and perspective drawing technique to create the perception of a 3D or photograph of the object.

Proof of Concept – Engineering Model: A three-dimensional model of design used for verification of fit, assembly and design performance, constructed from the CAD or drawing documentation, tolerances and specifications. Actual production grade materials are used when possible. The idea behind these models is to comprehensively test all physical properties before investing in high scale production.

Product Styling: Product styling focuses on the experienced perception of the of product, device or machine design based on geometry, semantics, composition, materials, colors, texture and appearance of a product. The perception may be categorized into a historical or artistic style such as; art deco, streamlined, or with defined attributes such as; utilitarian, sleek, high tech, organic, cool.

Quotation: A services quotation is a rough, “ballpark” estimate of service or consulting product development costs. It may define the basic objectives and scope of services recommendations for basic services including: R&D, market or technical analysis ID, Engineering, Prototyping etc. .

RFQ: Request for Quotation

Royalties: Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party (the “licensee”) to another (the “licensor”) for ongoing use of an asset, most typically an intellectual property (IP) right. Royalties are usually determined periodically as a percentage of gross or net sales derived from use of the asset or a fixed price per unit sold A royalty interest is the right to collect a stream of future royalty payments to describe a percentage ownership of future production or revenues from a given product

Semantics: Product semantics is a design methodology used to evaluate product design, form or geometric styling which should based on prior references, intuitively communicate the purpose and user interface direction of the product.

Services Agreements: A services agreement is a legally binding contract or Work Consulting Agreement between the firm and the Client defining the terms, objectives and qualifications with a defined project and scope of services and deliverables.

SLA: Stereo Lithography, the use of a laser and a vat of photo-curable resin to rapidly produce a solid model.

SLS: Selective Laser Sintering, the use of a laser to sinter powder resin together, layer by layer, to rapidly form a solid model.

Soft Tooling: Refers to prototyping or rapid prototyping use of low durometer, rubber urethane materials to create low pressure – gravity fed molds based on a core and cavity.

Start Up Company: A Start Up company is a new business venture based on an existing product or service, such as a franchise (McDonalds) or a totally new invention, product, device, machine, method of business to generate profit.

Thumbnail Sketch: Within the field of product design, thumbnail sketching represents an efficient way to quickly communicate product ideas and simple concepts using small line drawn 3D perspective and orthographic drawings quickly and clearly.

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