How to Estimate the Cost of Manufacturing a Product Using a Per Unit Formula
15 February, 2021
Here at JCAD — Inc. we talk to a lot of innovative product focused entrepreneurs. One of the most obvious trends we’ve seen lately amongs this group is the shift to selling their products online, whether that’s through Shopify, Amazon or their own self-hosted e-commerce solution.
There’s an obvious reason for this. Retail stores were already starting to struggle in recent years, but since the COVID pandemic first emerged globally many of us have been unable to go to stores for more than staple purchases. Some people have literally been buying everything online. This trend seems likely to continue as people get more and more used to shopping online for all their needs, and due to the ease and simplicity of home delivery.
For this reason, clients are starting to ask us about creating 3D product renderings specifically for online stores.
What you might not guess however, is that there are a lot of benefits to using CGI product images over images created through traditional product photography. Even the IKEA catalogue whose rooms and furniture look so real are predominantly designed in 3D CAD programs.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Our photorealistic product and furniture renderings can go one step further and make you thousands of dollars!
In this world of massively reduced attention spans and social media dopamine fixes, if your product images don’t stand out and make an emotional impact on the viewer, they’re likely to look for something which lights their brain up a little more. If you can create an emotional connection with the product you’re promoting just through amazing product imagery, you’re more than half way to the sale already.
We can make stunning product images for you that are just as good as the IKEA catalogue with expert color, lighting, backgrounds and more.
If you are hiring a product photographer, either they have to come to you, or you have to send them the product. This can be costly if the product is large (like a bed or wardrobe), and adds unnecessary shipping time to your project.
We can create amazing product renderings for you without the need for you to send the product to us. In fact, we can create product photos for you before the product has even been manufactured (or during the manufacturing process), using the same CAD designs we use to prototype and manufacture your product.
Photography backdrops and lighting and the support staff needed to manage them are expensive, especially if this is a one off project. They’re also quite limited as we’ll see in the next point.
Traditional photography is limited to what can be seen of the product. If you want to show potential customers what it looks like from all angles, or what the product looks like on the inside, you might be out of luck.
Where traditional photography fails, 3D rendering excels. We can create images showing all sides and the top and bottom of products, and can create cross sections and exploded views, without having to destroy the product to do it. We can even create 360 degree spin models that let your potential customers rotate the images themselves, choosing which angle to view the product from.
We can turn around product renderings very quickly. In many cases we can get the product images back to you before our competitors even get back to you with a quote, or before you could take your product to the post office to send it to a photographer who would then have to style, shoot and process your images before getting them back to you. 3D rendered product images are therefore much more efficient.
Does your product come in different colors, textures, finishes, or with optional upgrades? These are easy to create in 3D renderings. Rather than needing five different couches in alternating fabrics for a photographer to shoot, we can change the textures on our renderings to easily show as many attributes as you’d like (even if that’s hundreds).
This is also great if you’d like to test different product variations before they have been created.
3D renderings of products can help you test out business ideas quickly and affordably. For instance we can create a virtual reality rendering of your product idea which you can show test groups and prospective buyers before it’s even reached the prototyping phase. These designs can be easily iterated upon, errors or omissions fixed, and ideas tested without the expense of having to fully prototype a physical product. This lets you find your minimum viable product sooner so you can get your product to market much more quickly and with less risk of failure.
Some products just don’t exist in real life, for example ebooks and software packages that are provided as online downloads. We can quickly and easily mock up representations of these products you can use in your marketing materials.
The most obvious place to use 3D product renderings is on your own e-commerce site (Shopify, WordPress, Magento, Prestashop etc.) or on a site like Amazon. We can create product images on white backgrounds, on stock photos, in use through action shots and more.
Promoting a product with a high commission value but with poor quality product images? Ask the product owner if you can create your own product images for better conversions.
Want to sell a product before it has been manufactured? 3D product renderings are a great way to show your audience what they will be buying. You may also be able to use 3D renderings for crowd funding projects, but you should check with the platform’s rules first and make sure never to misrepresent your product when trying to sell it.
360 degree spin models, along with virtual reality product renderings are the next evolution in product marketing. Rather than showing prospective customers a static product image, you can let them spin the product around with their mouse or through swiping to see the image from all sides and angles. This is the next best thing to holding the product or having it right there in front of them.
If you’re reselling a generic product, you may have been provided with product images that don’t clearly represent your brand. With 3D rendering you can superimpose your logo, branding and packaging onto the generic products so people don’t realize they’re generic and try and get them from somewhere else, and in order to strengthen brand recognition and product scarcity!
Starting a product image rendering project is easy. You can send us some quick photos taken on your smartphone. Or if the product has not been created yet, all we need are some hand drawn sketches and notes about how you would like the product to look in real life. We’ll also ask you for colors, or designs you are inspired by to help us tailor the finished product.
We will then create CAD designs from your photos or sketches. These designs can be used for prototyping and manufacturing as well as for creating amazing product photos.
Once we have initial CAD files, we can also use them for product animation and virtual reality renderings, which can both add an extra dimension to your marketing campaigns.
We look forward to hearing from you!