Our Process - 8 Phases

Idea has developed an easy to follow 3 stages - 8 phases process called Design | Development | Supply.


Idea's industrial designers start our 8 phase approach with, research, creative conceptual sketches; mock-up and form study models, to evolve and refine the design as it comes to life.

Phase 1 - Research

idea project scoping
idea market research
freedom to operation (fto)

Research Solutions

User Habits/Experience
Product Market Research/Planning
Patent (FTO) Searching
Product/Project Viability

Idea’s industrial design research; identifies the aesthetics; ergonomics; user experience (UX); demographic; patent (IP) and marketing needs of a product and design brief.

Phase 1’s outcome validates and confirms the project/product brief and defines the structure of the project.

Phase 2 - Concept

Concept Solutions

Creative Sketches
Product Illustrations
Product/Market Presentation
3D Computer Renders

Idea’s concept sketch process evolves the product brief into an early visual presentation showcasing aesthetic styling direction; product features; and engineering intent.

Phase 2’s outcome validates and sets the design direction and showcases the product at the early stage.

Phase 3 - Form Study & Mock-Up

Mock-Up Solutions

Product Aesthetics
Ergonomic Form Study
Mock-Up Testing
Proof of Concept

Idea’s designers 'hand crafted' form study models to further assist aesthetic and ergonomic resolve of visually demanding products, literally bringing concepts to life.

Idea’s mock-up model build techniques provide an early insight to product performance, size/ proportion, and weight/ balance; which are important factors for early proof of concept.


Idea's design engineers use the latest 3D CAD identify and apply engineering disciplines. Using techniques including ‘design for manufacture’ and ‘performance prototype' samples.

Phase 4 - Engineering

Engineering Solutions

3D CAD Solid & Surface Modelling
Computer Simulation (FEA)
Assembly Modelling (DFM & DFA)
Electronics (PCBA) & Programming

Idea’s design engineers work with the very latest in 3D CAD modelling and simulation software; NX by Seimens, capturing complex surfaces, optimising components for strength, weight, and performance- allowing for alternative material selection.

Integrated PCB design; software programming; and app design is captured within a 3D working product assembly.

Phase 5 - Prototype

Prototype & Short Run Solutions

3D Printing (FDM, SLA, SLS)
CNC Machining, Laser Cutting, Fabrication & Vacuum Casting
PCBA, Electronics & Programming
Performance Prototypes & Market Ready Samples

Idea specialises in producing prototypes from a variety of prototype build methods, and production-quality materials and appearance; validating and showcasing the product to the market before investing in production mould tools.

Phase 5’s outcome provides a marketable, working performance prototype as close as possible to the finished product.

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Phase 6 - Specification

Document Solutions

Engineering, Manufacturing & IP drawings
Product & Quality Control (QC) Specifications
Instruction Guides & User Manuals
Product Marketing, Illustrations & Images

Idea’s design specifications ensure critical areas of the design function and appearance are clearly communicated in product engineering drawings, patent applications, manufacturing specification kits, and instruction manuals.

The resulting product specifications from Phase 6 mitigate risk and ensure a smooth transition into manufacturing, regardless of whether it is to be manufactured with Idea’s factory or your own.


Idea’s dedicated manufacturing/sourcing solution provides the complete supply service of produced components, products and sourced goods including; quality audits, 'door-to-door' freight forwarding; importation; and local delivery, to meet your requirements.

Phase 7 - Tooling

Tooling Solutions

3D CAD Tool Design
Plastic Injection, Extrusion & Aluminium Die Casting
Stainless Steel Investment Casting & CNC Jigs
Off-Tool Check/Approval & Sample Supply

Idea’s NZ-based design and engineering team provides tool designs with ‘off-tool’ part checks, to efficiently manage the tooling process. Our China-based team provides 'hands-on' assistance ensuring quality, efficiency, and supply to meet your requirements.

Idea has access to a multitude of different mould tooling methods and processes for the best economic investment in tooling and profitable outcome for the product.

Phase 8 - Production

Production Solutions

Components & Parts
Kit Set & Product Assembly
Quality Control & Inspection
Short-Run & Mass Production

Idea provides the complete supply solution of produced components, products, and sourced goods. Idea China's manufacturing operation has access to a multitude of specialised suppliers and provides full product assembly; sub-assembly as a kit set to meet your requirements; or individual components manufactured to order.

Idea's NZ design team understands and sets the quality control specifications for manufacture, and provides independent quality inspections before arranging shipping of finished goods.

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