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Suggested Information

  • Is product partially designed already?
  • Is there a prototype model available?
  • Is this an existing product re-design or cost reduction?
  • Does the new product connect to internet?
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We will send you a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before we talk details

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much will my project cost?
Designing a new hardware product starts with a Concept Design (CD) stage.  A creative design and engineering team comes up with a solution.  An experienced team is fast and can provide a predictable cost of development.  The CD exploration and definition of a new product idea takes 200 or more hours, depending on the complexity of design, number of custom components, product safety requirements, and documentation. Experienced and integrated product Design/Engineering teams in North America have rates from $125 to $400 USD dollars per hour.  Our location in Ottawa allows us to offer hourly rates near the lower end of this scale.  We start by providing a detailed customized Concept Design budget, based on your project’s specific needs. For further details, please call and talk to us. Click here for more information on our development phases.
How long will my project take?
Product Design Stage: Depending on how complex your new product design is, it will take from 2 to 6 months to complete our 4-stage process. Your design idea goes from concept exploration and engineering to 3D prototyping and user testing. It is then possible for several manufacturers to bid on. Our creative team will find a solution that differentiates your product and delivers an ‘I love it’ user response, at the target business cost. Need help to manufacture? Our manufacturing setup experts will help you identify and secure trusted suppliers and contract manufacturers (CM) onshore and/or offshore as your project objectives require. We facilitate the process, from CM and parts supplier contracts, through injection tooling oversight, quality, test plans and Bill of Materials parts ordering. Need help with your first pilot product build?   We set this up for you and fine tune product quality during the initial production batch builds and on to continuous production. Our process ensures we bring value, and transition out of the project as your operations team takes over production. We can stay on to facilitate production if your business objectives are to be a more virtual, low overhead operation.
Why Choose Design 1st?
The Design 1st team works with well-organized and funded business teams that require a professional hardware product development team to move to volume production. Our diverse team of manufacturing, design, engineering and electronics experts makes the transition from product concept to manufacturing a predictable process.  
Do I need to sign an NDA first?
NDA’s ensure confidentiality for both parties during conversations. We provide a mutual NDA where the terms apply to both parties. If your organization has an NDA that requires our signature, we handle this through email.

Head Office

314 Athlone Ave
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 5M4

How to reach us


Experienced teams that work closely together deliver better products faster.

Our talented team of 30 designers, engineers and specialists collaborate daily to find new opportunities and discover unique high value solutions for your product.

We are hired for the more technically challenging new product designs.
Balancing look, materials, features and cost, we sift through thousands of options, making critical decisions, while remaining focused on your end game:

A useful, engaging product that delivers compelling new value at your target product cost.

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