The book is called “The Art of Product Design: Changing How Things Get Made” and after a lot of hard work, input and many revisions, it is finally available! It’s a real book, not an ebook or a super-long brochure. It’s about the rise of Open Engineering - the changes we’re seeing in how things get made.
The book covers everything from the crowdsourcing designs, to rapid prototyping, to the role of CAD models in marketing. And it includes interviews with community members, partners, and cool companies who are changing how things get made, companies like GE, Quirky, SkullCandy, Autodesk and more.
The Art of Product Design isn’t just for engineers. We hope engineers will love it (it’s mostly about them, after all) but it’s not just for them. This book is for anyone who helps things get made or is interested in how things get made. That could mean a sales person at an equipment manufacturer, or a marketer at a shoe company, or the CEO of an automotive company.
We want to help these people:
Understand how the internet is changing product design and manufacturing
Foster creativity and communication in their company, regardless of industry
Help their organization adapt a more open approach to innovation
Break down barriers between "guilds" and help groups communicate
Engage customers and partners in the creative process
Why write a book?
I never planned to be an author, but about a year ago a group of us at GrabCAD were talking about why we were excited about GrabCAD. It emerged that the reason many of us are here was because we were excited that the ways things get made is changing. For context, you should know that almost all of our leadership team are mechanical engineers by training (even our sales and marketing VP) so we’re all excited about making stuff. And we were frustrated by how slowly the design process was changing. To be honest, we were a bit jealous of our software engineer friends, who have seen amazing changes over the last decade in how they build software. We want to see that same revolution happen in mechanical engineering. It’s already begun and the book has amazing examples of companies building new types of products in a new way.
So of course we’re building tools to help people change their process and speed up design. But it takes more than tools to change how people do things - they need to see the big picture and buy into the change. If they do that, they will find the right tools (whether from GrabCAD or someone else).
And that’s why we wrote this book. We wrote it to try to help people see how the ways in which things get made is changing, to show why this is a good thing, and to encourage them to take advantage of this change.
Buy the book
I’m pretty excited about open engineering and I suspect (if you’re reading this blog) that you might be too. Buy the book and let us know what you think!