What is design for manufacturing (DFM)?

As a professional manufacturer, Aria have been dedicated to the development of the design and manufacturing field. In our many years of working experience, We are deeply aware of the importance of design to the manufacturing process.

Design for Manufacturability is a product design ideology that focuses on creating a better design at a lower cost by optimising the selection of materials and manufacturing processes. Following these guidelines, the final product should be easier to manufacture and the production should take less time when compared to the original design.”

If you are new to design for manufacturing or just wondering how to optimize your manufacturing process, this article is for you.

How Dose Design For Manufacturing (DFM) Work?

Design for manufacturing is an approach that provides guidelines for optimizing the manufacturing process, simplifying designs, selecting suitable materials, considering the product’s operating environment, and adhering to compliance standards.

The primary objective is to develop quality product and designs that are simple and more affordable to produce, without compromising the product’s quality.

5 Principles of Design For Manufacturing (DFM)

Design for manufacturing is an approach that provides guidelines for optimizing the manufacturing process, simplifying designs, selecting suitable materials, considering the product’s operating environment, and adhering to compliance standards.

The primary objective is to develop quality product and designs that are simple and more affordable to produce, without compromising the product’s quality.

Pre-production Assessment

1. Manufacturing Process

The right manufacturing process, is a fundamental principle of DFM. It calls for using the proper manufacturing process for the part being produced.

To achieve this, it is very important to evaluate the production volume and the used, the materials used, and the surface texture of the end product. The required tolerances and post-processing needs are also factors that should never be left out.

For instance, where high volumes are desired, plastic injection molding is the go-to process because it enables recovery of the massive upfront and overhead costs. On the other hand, small volumes are better produced using a thermoforming process, which is less time consuming capital-intensive.

All in all, the manufacturing process should be settled as soon as possible because the other four principles heavily depend on it.

2. Product Design

Here, DFM provides guidelines when making drawings of the actual parts to be produced. This principle recommends simplifying product designs and minimizing part count. It helps make sure that the product and design phase is efficient.

Always choose the most straightforward design to help you reduce manufacturing costs and turn-around time. Not all designs are very simple, but complex designs should be avoided. This is because they have a very high likelihood of failing during the manufacturing process.

A product design that allows loose tolerances is also recommended in DFM.

manufacturing Tolerance

3. Product Material

One important concept of DFM is the selection of suitable product materials. This involves carefully examining material qualities, pricing, availability, and compatibility for the intended use.

It is crucial to consider the finished product’s intended use when selecting the product’s material. This aids in determining the product’s attributes, including its surface finish, heat resistance, mechanical capabilities, and flammability.

Considering these factors in the early production stages helps identify cost-effective material alternatives that meet quality and performance requirements.


4. Environment

This principle recognizes that the environment can affect a product’s performance, reliability, and durability. It supports the production of strong and durable products by considering environmental factors like temperature, humidity, vibration, and other environmental circumstances.

DFM advocates for ensuring that the quality of the parts produced guarantees their proper functioning in the environment in which they are used. This lowers the risk of failure, associated maintenance costs, and customer dissatisfaction.

5. Compliance and testing

DFM places a strong emphasis on incorporating testing and compliance requirements throughout the design and production processes.

Early consideration of compliance standards helps avoid expensive redesigns or revisions to comply with regulations. Thorough testing ensures the product meets quality and safety requirements. Consequently, the possibility of recalls, warranty claims, and related expenses is reduced.

These standards may be internal, third-party, or industry standards, all set to ensure that quality products are produced.

To be able to comply with all these standards, the contract manufacturer needs to make arrangements for testing before starting actual mass production.

DFM recommends the use of non-destructive testing methods. These methods do not interfere with any properties of the product being tested. Thus, the product can be used even after testing.

Having understood how the key DFM principles are applied, you may want to know the benefits that come with this process.

The importance of DFM can never be overemphasized. It ranges from aiding manufacturers to maximize profits by cutting down labor costs, to ensuring that quality products are produced within the shortest time possible.

The Benefits of Design For Manufacturing (DFM)

CNC Machining Parts Polishing

1. Cost reduction

Generally, decisions that are made in the initial design stages determine about 70% of the product cost structure of manufacturing a part or product. Every DFM principle advocates for choices that help the company incur the lowest costs while maintaining the quality of the product.

In the product design stage, designers are able to identify and measure any waste that might come up during the manufacturing and assembly process. This principle also helps identify opportunities to reduce the number of parts and employ standardized components when appropriate.

Such design improvements lead to less complicated production processes, quicker assembly times, and less material waste, which eventually lowers production costs further.

This benefit of cost reduction results in a high return on investment. It also facilitates competitive pricing, which helps the product thrive in a highly competitive market.

2. Quicker time-to-market

The main goal of DFM is to create products that are optimized for efficient production. Design for manufacturing ensures that the product can be manufactured without needless delays or complications.

This is done by taking into account production constraints such as material availability, tooling costs, standard components, and current manufacturing capabilities. This optimization cuts down the time needed for tooling, setup, and manufacturing.

Incorporating manufacturing specialists early in product design makes it easy to identify and address many production issues.

With this proactive approach, design teams may make the required changes to the design early on. This lowers the possibility of expensive and time-wasting redesigns.

Also, all stakeholders are involved in the process. This reduces the back-and-forth challenge during the production process because there are very few emerging issues. As a result, the turnaround time is significantly reduced, and a new product reaches the market faster.

3. Improved product quality

DFM places a strong emphasis on compliance with industry rules and standards. Companies make sure that goods fulfill safety, performance, and quality standards by including compliance and testing requirements in the design process.

Thorough testing at every stage of the product development cycle helps identify possible problems and confirm the effectiveness of the design. As a result, there are fewer chances that performance- or safety-related problems may arise in components or finished goods.

Additionally, the items are created taking into account the environment in which they will be utilized. DFM advocates considering aspects such as heat resistance, moisture resistance, strength, and color when selecting product materials. This means that their performance and durability are assured.

DFM principles offer a methodical way to spot and handle any quality-related problems early in the product development cycle, resulting in high-quality products.

4. Streamlined product development process

All the DFM principles are put into practice before actual production starts. For example, the production method, the raw materials, and the product design must all be agreed upon.

In addition, stakeholders are involved in every stage of this process. Potential manufacturing issues and challenges are identified and addressed through their collaboration in the early stages. This reduces the risk of design changes, which are usually very costly and time-wasting.

DFM also integrates feedback loops from the production process into the product design stage. The manufacturing process is monitored by obtaining feedback from the factory floor. The information could reveal bottlenecks, material waste, or process inefficiencies. Over time, this iterative process helps to improve the product and the production process.

5. Guarantees Manufacturing Feasibility

Implementing DFM principles makes it possible to optimize the design of a product for easy manufacturing. Some of the ways that this happens are discussed below.

DFM encourages early collaboration between the design and production teams. Contacting manufacturing specialists from the beginning allows potential production problems to be detected and solved in the design process.

Their advice and knowledge assist in minimizing the possibility of infeasible designs by ensuring that the design is in line with the capabilities and limitations of the manufacturing process.

DFM strongly emphasizes utilizing available production resources, methods, and machinery. Designing within the limitations of the existing manufacturing resources increases the likelihood that a product will be feasible to manufacture.

DFM avoids designs that would necessitate substantial expenditures on new machinery or procedures, lowering the possibility of manufacturing difficulties.

How does Aria’s DFM analysis work?

Aria’s DFM analysis is a comprehensive process that incorporates key principles to optimize design and production procedures using specialized software.

The manufacturing process, product design, product material, environment, compliance, and testing are all taken into account to ensure effective and economical production while upholding high standards. You can trust Aria for high-quality products at very competitive market prices.

The following is our working process flow.

Step 1: Place your Quote

At Aria Manufacturing we offer a wide range of services from injection molding to CNC machining. So you may want to specify what you exactly need in the quote. If still unsure, don’t worry.

Our technical team is always ready to help you out. you can click the “Get Instant Quote” Upload your design to get a DFM report online, Or contact us on the email or telephone in the ‘Contact us‘ page.

Step 2. Choose design

At Aria we have a database of over 6000 designs you may choose from. However, we also customize to the client’s specifications.

Step 3. Prototype

Before embarking of actual production, we will prototype your design for testing purposes. We are careful to deliver products that work as desired and comply with all essential standards.

Step 4. Testing and refining

In this step we test the prototype for usability of all components, materials, and compliance with all essential standards. And with the help of our technical team you can refine your design as the case may be.

Step 5. Production

Once the prototype has been approved by client, we go ahead to start manufacturing. At Aria we have capacity to carry out mass production in a span of few days or weeks. We are also happy to report a worldwide reach.