So, here are some fun facts about Dragonfly's and other important questions about our design firm.
What is the header Dragonfly picture about?
The pilot is Aiden, born in 2017 and pausing next to her "2037 DragonFlyer model VI" personal aircraft. Utilizing Intuitive Brainwave Sensory Guidance (IBSG) and Kinesic Electro-Muscular Articulation (KEMA) developed by Google in 2029 she can maneuver her craft with the speed and agility of the dragonflies flight.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge.", Albert Einstein
Why do I need 3D CAD to develop my product?
Well, you don't really! But, when we draw your product parts in 3D and then create a CAD assembly of those parts it creates a "Virtual Prototype" that allows you to see what the product will look like and how the parts will fit and be fastened together. That process leaps you forward through the stage where most inventors get stuck or run out of money.
The 3D drawings we create can be used to "3D print" or make each part and assemble prototypes using a variety of plastics, metals and purchased components. When it is time to produce the product, the factories can accept your 3D model files directly into their CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) systems to make tooling for plastic parts, make machined metal parts, circuit boards and component insertion programming, sheet metal parts, and more. Today, 3D CAD is used by nearly all commercial enterprises to develop products and SoldWorks 3D CAD is used by a whopping 65% of the commercial market.
How are the 3D CAD files ("Models") used to develop my product?
Today most production machine shops rely on receiving 3D models from customers. These 3D digital representations of the part to be made are fed into the machine shops CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) systems. The CAM system creates Geo-code that directs the motion of the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine tool producing the parts resulting in precision representations of the CAD model. Nearly all production machine shops have invested heavily in CNC equipment. For medium and higher complexity parts this can be much less expensive than parts produced on older manual machines and certainly more accurate.
If you would like more information on CAD here are some safe links:
I heard there is a robotic Dragonfly - true?
Yes, FESTO one of the leading robotics companies in the world has developed a robotic Dragonfly in an effort to study the unique aerobatic capabilities of this 350 million year old insect. Check it out: https://www.festo.com/group/en/cms/10224.htm
Your contact page says you are located in Newcastle California. Where the heck is Newcastle?
We are located in California's Gold Country 30 miles east of Sacramento. In 1849 there were over 5,000 miners on Virginiatown Road where we live and work. Today, this area has some of the best new wineries in California, and some of the very best suppliers for plastics, electronics, metal fabrication, contract assembly such as Pride Industries and other resources essential for developing products at a much more reasonable price than the Bay Area where we were originally located. Not to mention that this is a great place to live and work.
Why call the company Dragonfly?
Dragonflies have been around for over 350 million years. They are one of the first insects to inhabit this planet and considering they are still very similar to the original, we call that a damn good design. You might like to know that they are harmless to humans but have a voracious appetite for Mosquitos (thus the nickname Mosquito Hawk).
Based on fossils some of the first Dragonflies had wingspans of 27" I guess they had to keep up with the dinosaurs. They can see nearly 360 degrees, fly in any direction as in backwards and sideways and if you want to know more about this amazing creature check out this link; https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/7-things-you-never-knew-about-dragonflies
What software will you use to develop my 3D CAD models and virtual prototypes?
We use SolidWorks for all our 3D Computer Aided Design work because it is hands down the best CAD product for almost any design project, and it is widely accepted, provides importation of most other solid modeling files and has many capabilities not available in other systems. Most commercial components are also available in SW format so there is no need to draw bolts, screws, bearings and other commercial components. In addition the native SolidWorks files are now accepted directly into most newer CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) systems when it is time to make the parts, molds, printed prototypes etc. Below is a chart from the "CNC Cookbook" that indicates the commercial marketshare for Solidworks in 2017 (paid vs. freeware) grew to over 80%. A typical SolidWorks single seat software package is about $5,000 to $7,000 or more based on selected modules. Many design firms have multiple CAD products installed thus the total is more than 100%.
That was 2017 and the software continues to grow and become more versatile and reliable.
Here are a couple of videos that give you a feel for the versatility of the software and the nature of SolidWorks as a company:
There are more videos at this SolidWorks page.
What if I already have some CAD files made with different software?
Many CAD file types can be successfully imported into SolidWorks and we can also import and export files in many popular proprietary and standard file exchange formats.
Do you have a standard confidentiality agreement?
Yes, before you disclose anything, we provide a confidentiality agreement (AKA, non-disclosure agreement) which once signed, protects your ideas and anything you disclose about your ideas within your relationship with our business.
Do you provide all the native files from SolidWorks or do I have to come back to you for all modifications?
Any time your account is in good standing you may request any or all of the files we have generated on your behalf. In fact we encourage you to keep copies of your files along the way. We take backups nightly to the cloud but if we both have sets of files, then that work is even more secure.
I don't have SolidWorks or any other software that will open the SolidWorks files. Is there software that will let me review the work in 3D for free?
Yes! It is called eDrawings and the Windows or Mac viewer is free at this link: https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/edrawings/e2_register.htm
You can get the iPhone or iPad Version at iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/edrawings/id1209754386 (the reviews are bad but the product works, note that they do charge $1.50)
We suggest you only download these viewers from SolidWorks or Apple. There are other sites that advertise the eDrawings viewer but word has it that it is safer to get it from the original source.
I have a great idea for a product but I really don't understand the development process or the steps required to get a business like this started?
I have many documents and flow charts that can guide you through that process. I can provide a guide to the steps to develop the product, a diagram of the tasks needed to build your business, and when I have a better understanding of your needs, I can provide plenty of documents and advice in this area.
What about patents? I know they cost a ton of money, so do I need a patent?
You probably will if your idea is unique. There are several types of patents but in most cases I suggest that my clients initially file a Provisional Patent. This type of patent is generally filed by the inventor and is designed to protect your idea for one-year. The filing fee varies based on the size of your entity but is usually under $150. A Full Utility patent can also be filed but in most cases I suggest the Provisional Patent first and then file a Utility Patent when you are confident the product can be successful. A Utility Patent written with the help of a Patent Attorney can cost $15,000 and up. That said, not all products need or are eligible for a patent. That does not mean you can't be successful. There are many products on the market that are doing very well with no patent. The patent office is designed to be user friendly so I suggest you visit and take a look around: www.uspto.gov
What is the difference between dragonflyproductdesign.com and dragonflyCAD.com?
Not much. We have two URL's and after registering the longer one we found that dragonflycad.com was available. We developed the website under the original URL and point DragonflyCAD.com at that longer site name.