What does this mean exactly?
Well, with a better understanding of the materials being used, it becomes clearer that your choices have a habit of steering you along a particular path.
But why does this matter? The simple answer is, like any foundation, if poorly chosen then no manner of fixes further down the line are really going to change things.
Cost is often the sole dictator of the choices being made, with little consideration for the technical implications (leaving failure or compliance issues to luck). But this is mostly due to an absence of access to technical skill and knowledge, applied to the design itself.
I am materials obsessed and perpetually in pursuit of new materials or ways to apply existing materials. This has been an enduring feature which began in my childhood and continues still.
But satisfaction only really comes when things are applied to the real world, which tempers this obsession.
To help explain, I can give a simple example: When choosing to use zinc-alloy, a common choice due its low cost, you should throw more emphasis into the engineering of the item, specifically to ensure the design will overcome the disadvantages of zinc-alloy.
In reality, this rarely happens, the products fail and zinc-alloy's reputation is damaged, along with your own, due to failed products.
I know all the materials and processes used to shape and finish them. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I know the costs, workflows and nuances of choosing one material over another.
If you are starting out with a new product or starting a new collection or even trying to re-position your brand through the use of materials, I can help get you on the right track.
Of course there is more to this story since it is woven tightly into your own product strategy, market positioning and budgets.
I can give advice and a sound rationale to navigate a route that fits your particular scenario.
Zinc-alloy or CNC cut brass? Does it matter?
Stamped brass sub-assemblies. Because they are brass, the real work was done long before each of these components came together.
Yes, your zinc-alloy parts will probably be shuffling around the factory, between processes, in a similar way.
But does this matter? It might just, depending on which material is chosen and how the supplier was briefed...