Frantic, caffeine-fueled study sessions and last minute group projects may have worked in your favor for finals, but no amount of caffeined can expedite the custom medical cart project you’ve been putting off for the next trade show.
It’s important to note that we are not condoning the procrastination of your custom medical cart. If you want a high quality, successful product, then start as soon as possible. Remember, the longer you push off a project like this, the more expensive it’s likely to become.
However, sometimes these things slip through the cracks, especially if you forget about events like trade shows—which are quintessential for exhibiting your latest, upcoming products.
So, you’re crunching for time? No worries! Here are a few things that’ll help you get up on your feet.
In some cases, your manufacturer can provide a full-scale rendering or video animations made from SolidWorks. This way you can receive feedback from people, which may improve your overall project and design. Although a rendering or simulation is a much more cost-efficient option, it may not be what you’re looking for.
Depending on your needs, you can request an aesthetic prototype purely to show off an aspect of an upcoming design. Bringing a prototype to a trade show also provides an ideal opportunity to receive feedback.
Consider utilizing cast urethane to simulate parts of the design that would usually be made with plastic. Not only is this more cost-effective, but you can also color match. Keep in mind cast urethane will be less durable, but you’ll have a true to life product that should only take two to three weeks to produce.
Other Tooling Lead Times and Supplements
If your original plans required sand casting, consider simulating that part with wood. If you plan on using plastic thermoformed parts, perhaps making a wood tool instead for your trade show product would be a better option as this is more cost efficient and has a shorter lead time.
Sheet metal is more readily available but may not be as aesthetic. If your custom medical cart needs casters for a trade show, most manufacturers should have some onsite. They may not be your top choice, but your medical cart will be mobile. However, if your project does include custom casters, then expect a 12 + week lead time. So, for the trade show you could use a standard caster of similar size and mounting to the original plan, but exchange it for a custom caster when your custom medical cart is ready for the market.
If you thought communication was essential before, it is crucial in a scenario like this. Make sure you have your custom medical cart committee organized beforehand and that they know the level of involvement needed for a project like this.
Our engineers and project manager suggest coordinating one or two meetings a week with your manufacturer. Or, you may have to meet daily depending on your needs. Just like any other medical cart project, make sure you have the right people involved—primarily anyone who makes the decisions. There’s no use in discussing options if the decision-makers aren’t present.
A last minute trade show product isn’t impossible, but it does require a lot of organization, a financial understanding and communication.
Do you have a custom medical cart project in mind? Contact us today to get your project underway.