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How to Commission a CAD Drawing?
The first thing you need to do to commission a CAD drawing, is to give the company you’ll work with an idea of what you want to do.
Usually, you’ll have a couple of sketches or pictures of similar products, sending these should be enough to get a quote for your project so you know what you’ll be working with.
Sketches don’t have to be perfect, in fact, a quick 5-minute paper and pen sketch should be enough for the 3D design company to understand what you want to do. It just needs to have the main dimensions and purpose clearly explained.
You really don’t need to worry about your drawing skills. From our own experience in J-CAD Inc., it has never been a problem for us to understand our clients needs by looking at their sketches and talking to them.
Sometimes, you aren’t quite sure of the dimensions or final shapes of the product, but that’s not a problem, find a company with professionals (like us!) who can understand what you’re trying to do, and ask them for guidance.
You should also be able to communicate with the drafting company you want to work with. Talk to them about what you need and how you want the end product to turn out, and they will be able to help you get a better idea of draw your product sketch.
Estimating Drafting Time in CAD
Then comes the time you submit your initial sketch and pictures to request a quote. A professional company is used to dealing with this kind of work on a daily basis, so they should be able to review your sketches, pictures and ideas, and give you a quote for your project within a few minutes, and also give you a time estimate for its completion.
If the company you send your submission to takes days or even weeks to get back to you with a quote, that’s a red flag. We probably don’t need to tell you what you can expect after that.
There isn’t a basic rule of thumb you can use to estimate drafting time before getting a quote from the design company, they’ll often have billing and work-time databases to figure out for how long they’ll need to work on your design.
There are many aspects that influence the design time, mainly the volume of the draft, the details, the software it will be designed in, and the designer’s speed.
How Much Do CAD Designs Cost?
When prototyping and manufacturing a product, there’s no formula to find out what it will cost without having a final design first.
A CAD design shouldn’t be too expensive; your design will probably be around the few hundreds (US$) depending on how simple your parts are.
To really find out what the design cost will be, the company needs to review your sketches and work from memory or browse their project database for similar projects they’ve done, to estimate how long it will take them for them to finish your drawings.
A recommendation we give you is to try and get a fixed price quote, when receiving an hourly rate you can easily go off budget if there’s anything not going according to the plan.
What Do I Do Once I Have my CAD Drawing?
If your intention is to start manufacturing your product then you should find a good manufacturing company, it will be really helpful and keep everything simple if the same company that helped you through the design phase, also offers services for manufacturing.
It will also be advisable to have a few revisions before the getting the design ready for manufacturing, also consider making a prototype before starting to manufacture, since that way you may save costs and see if your design works and adjust any modifications before establishing a production line.
If you have a final 3D design and a prototype, you can start using them to draw attention and investors to your idea, that way it will be easier for you to pay for the manufacturing costs.