This project involves an automated vending machine designed to provide women with free sanitary products. Consumers can obtain these items through an infrared sensor at the front of the machine. Before coming to us, the client had already engaged a professional design company to complete the industrial design and produce a prototype. The design began in 2022, but it could not be mass-produced due to two major issues: 

One was unstable operation due to an irrational mechanical structure design; 

The other was the high design cost, making mass production unaffordable for the client.

After taking over the project, our technical department reviewed all the design drawings and tested the client's prototype. We decided to optimize the machine from two aspects: enhancing machine operational stability and reducing production costs. 

Firstly, we optimized the entire motor drive system by replacing the original stepper motor solution with a simpler and more stable DC motor plus Hall sensor solution, which directly reduced costs by 20%. 

Secondly, we simplified the mechanical transmission structure to make it more efficient and stable. 

Additionally, we optimized the injection-molded casing, reducing costs by another 15%, and added a built-in lithium battery to allow the product to operate in environments without power outlets.

Thanks to our final price being 60% lower than the original quote from the design company and further reductions in costs due to optimizations, our final quote was less than half of the client's initial budget. The client was very pleased with this and agreed to our design proposal. Subsequently, we proceeded with prototype sampling but found that the overall performance was not as expected, mainly because the casing was too large. To control costs for the client, we chose a 3D printing solution instead of CNC machining. However, the 3D printed casing was prone to deformation due to its size, affecting mechanical operation. To address this, we CNC machined some parts and further optimized the design. The performance of the second version of the prototype improved significantly, and we identified some additional minor issues. After four iterations of the prototype, we finalized the design, although the client added some requirements during this period, increasing the complexity of the design. Nevertheless, the final version of the machine ran smoothly and stably. The client was very satisfied upon receipt, and we proceeded with mold production and mass production. 

We made some minor adjustments during this process, which was expected, as the design of a complex product is a systemic engineering challenge, and any small change can affect other parts.We have handled many projects where clients came to us for further development after professional design companies failed to achieve mass production. These projects are challenging because clients often do not want us to make significant changes to the appearance or certain designs, adding complexity to the development process. Fortunately, our experienced team can provide valuable advice before the actual development begins, minimizing the risk of product development. If you have a similar project that requires professional advice, please contact the Ideal Pro team. We will help your project succeed!