Any development process is always exciting to me, it is packed with challenges and frustrations. Often we seem to have a collective idea in mind that seems impossible. As a team we are increasingly looking at monolithic solutions to remove large portions of the frustration side enabling us to design the product we want, and often it develops in to something better. It’s too easy to compromise a design based on cost or the construction methods, I believe this can de-value the products appeal and performance.

We started to look at our product design and ask ourselves “how can we make this design function out of as few pieces as possible?” The answer could be a CNC machined, 3D printed product, additive manufacturing or a combination. A recent lighting fixture we developed incorporated the socket holding, under cuts and handle support features in to a single monolithic aluminum chassis (originally this was 4 pieces). What we found through this monolithic design process, almost as a bi-product, was a reduced overall part count and assembly costs. The end product result was higher quality, it had the look we wanted and all at the same cost with no compromising.

Monolithic design has the added benefit of structural integrity and long term durability, interestingly it is increasingly used by engineers in other industries such as structural bridge design. Why not consider the monolithic mindset when you next design and perhaps you will reap the same benefits we have.