Design

Prototyping

Innovation & prototyping design process

The design of a new product or prototype can be the most challenging part, but it’s also something we enjoy immensely. Our background in R&D at Imperial College London (see publications) has taught us many valuable lessons for the design process.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson is to develop new technology in stages. An initial proof of concept does not always require a vastly-complicated prototype, and less is often more early on in the design process. As the technology maturity evolves, numerical models, prototypes and supporting software can evolve in parallel. We have often seen technology developers trying to do overly complicated things too quickly, which can lead to unnecessary iterations and “steps backwards”.

Our long-standing prototyping and technology development experience has taught us how to structure a development approach, often using the NASA TRL approach. Some of our experience has even fed into the standardization of technology development, for example IEC TS 62600-103, an international effort that Johannes Spinneken leads to date.

Our design team includes Mechanical, Electrical and Civil engineers, all specialized in innovation and technology development. We have helped numerous clients develop custom numerical models, custom electronics, hardware and control solutions, and a large variety of custom engineering software solutions. We would love to support you in your technology development design and implementation process.

Design Tools

Python

During the design process, the Python environment is immensely powerful. Python applications for design range from simple data analysis and visualization to sophisticated multi-body mechanics problems (e.g. Classical Mechanics and PyDy).

MATLAB / Simulink

The capabilities of the MATLAB / Simulink environment for dynamic system modelling are often unmatched. We have worked with both MATLAB & Simulink for almost 20 years, and have helped many clients implement custom dynamics solvers and numerical system models. We can model electro-mechanical systems from first-principles using “bare” code or integrated environments such as Simscape Multibody. Many of our past projects have involved control & dynamics interfaces, e.g servo drive control embedded in an overall dynamics model. We also love supporting hardware in the loop (HIL) projects.

C/C++

We have been programming in C/C++ for over 20 years, including applications from generating massive water waves in the laboratory to battery storage simulation & control. Other C/C++ applications include LabVIEW .so file development (shared C/C++ library on a Linux real time target) or Micro-controller coding.

Start to Finish

Prototyping is what we are good at – from start to finish. We design, build and test. We get enormous satisfaction when (not if!) we get things working.

Design

The design often starts on a blank piece of paper - from scratch. No template, no background, often no more than a vague idea. We love taking rough ideas & concepts to full validation.

Hardware

Quality prototyping and testing is almost never cheap. We know how to achieve the most cost effective solution, and can contribute hardware from our growing stockpile to keep costs at bay.

Software

Rapid prototyping is as much about software as hardware. Prototyping software requires a very special coder mindset and tons of creativity. That's where we excel.

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