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Become an Effective 3D Printing Designer with 7 Habits

Become an Effective 3D Printing Designer with 7 Habits

Inspired by Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I believed with these habits, you can raise the bar and be a highly effective 3D printing designer.

Habit 1: Proactive

Be resourceful and have the initiative to find solutions and ideas rather than waiting for feedback and advice from other people.

Someone who think reactively simply do the task for the sake of doing, he/she won’t push to make the product better because they believe someone will advice them if there is problem with the design.

Someone who is proactive, will take the initialize to analyze and improve their designs before submitting for review.

Designers who stop learning, they will stagnate in their creative thinking.


Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Start with a clear understanding of design concept, design constraints and criteria in mind helps to ensure that the products can be 3D printed such as thickness, draft angle, shrinkage, material, supports and so on.

Even the smallest error can cause the entire product to fail printing. The ability to be observant and paying attention to the smallest details play a very important part as a highly effective designer.


Habit 3: Put First Things First

This habit is about managing and set priority of the tasks and goals. If the design cannot be achieve in a single step, break them into smaller tasks, work out the plans to achieve and schedule time to accomplish.

Besides designing products, we have many daily distractions, ad-hoc tasks, deadline-driven projects, etc. in our life. Categorized your tasks into: urgent and important, urgent but not important, important but not urgent and lastly not important or urgent. This will help you to become a focused and independent designer.


Habit 4: Think Win-Win

When designing the product, think in a way that will benefit everyone like the company’s interests and end users’ interests. Some of the benefits can be saving material cost with light weight design or generative design with lesser supports, personalize design to give the unique look and not forgetting the functional needs of the product. To achieve win-win, the product needs to meet the needs of both the user and company.


Habit 5: Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood

Communicate is the fundamental of design and it is important that you understand the end goal and requirement of the design. You can be an amazing designer but if your design does not meet the requirement and function, the design is a failure. Often designers forget that they are also the marketers for their product and not only designers. You have to go beyond designing something that looks good yet capture the customer’s anxiety to spend their money to purchase your product.

Habit 6: Synergize

It doesn’t mean that as a designer, you are working alone. You need to often collaborate and work hand-in-hand with your colleagues and customers. You need to listen to others and see things from their perspective. Synergize allows you to gather input from different people and this helps you to open up to new possibilities.

Team collaboration is the key for synergize.


Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

After long hours sitting in front of the screen, your eyes will feel tired and you may have stiff shoulder. It is important to take time for breaks in between for self-renewal, this enables you to have a balanced life.

Imagine if you are sawing something for a long hours, the saw will get dull. You need to stop and sharpen it before you continue. This will help to you achieve the end result faster and better. As a designer, it is important to make time to learn and grow.

Taking breaks including exercise, make time to interact with people and get away from your computer to recharge. To have a healthy and balanced life, you will maintain a positive attitude to overcome any struggle or barrier during the process.


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