Welcome to complete one-stop place for hardware creators. At HWTrek, we have a lot of experience working with the hardware creators and understand the pains and struggles they need to go through to get from prototype to manufacturing.
This Hardware Guide will be continuously aggregated with useful resources. You can check out all the stages of hardware product development below and plunge into any of these topics for more information:
Ideation & Market research
At this stage you need to define the market requirements, target audience and product features for evaluating feasibility, business model and business case. The product and business proposal are based on this stage.
Design & Engineering
At this stage you need to define the product requirements and specifications. Select key components and design the solutions including electronic engineering (EE), industrial design (ID), mechanical engineering (ME), and software (SW). The preliminary quality assurance (QA) specs should be taken into consideration at this stage.
Base on the product concept or requirements, make a demo kit to prove the concept (proof of concept, PoC). The demo kit can be used to present the user scenarios, but the solutions are not optimized and may be changed when the project enters the product design stage. (Note: Prototype may not be needed if the team or the CM can jump into product design directly)
Search for Manufacturing & RFQ
Once the prototype or design is mature enough, provide the requirement documents, like market requirement document (MRD), product requirement document (PRD), bill of materials (BOM), ID/ME drawing, volume projection, and so on to potential contract manufacturers (CMs) for further communications. All these documents are a part of request for quote (RFQ) process. CM candidates can base on the documents and discussions to provide the quotation and schedule.
DFM means design for manufacturing. Design is the output of what research and design team (RD) does in the lab. Manufacturing is the process happens in the factory. To make the design manufactureable, DFM is an important process when RD transfers their work to factory. (Note: DFM might be conducted during EVT and DVT stage, or even PVT. It is a cross stage process)
EVT means engineering verification testing. RD is the owner at this stage. The goal is to verify and fix the product design and performance.
DVT means design verification testing. Factory is the owner at this stage. The goal is to verify the manufacturing process and enhance the yield rate to meet the criteria of production.
PVT means production verification testing. Factory is the owner at this stage. The goal is to simulate the real production situation. Make sure all the facility, material, equipment, SOP, and orders are confirmed for mass production.
Producing and shipping your final product. Packaging and logistics are important parts at this stage.
Go to Market
Marketing, sales, crowdfunding, entering different country markets are all parts of this stage.