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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 long will my project take?

Depending on your new product design's complexity, it will take 2 to 12 months to complete the 4-stage development to the manufacturing process. Your design idea goes through concept exploration and engineering, 3D prototyping, user testing, and transfer to manufacturing.

Once the design is well documented, manufacturers can bid on it. Our creative team will find a solution that differentiates your product and delivers an ‘I love it’ user response aligned with a product cost that meets business needs, and the manufacturers want to produce.

Need help to manufacture?

Our manufacturing setup experts will help you identify and secure trusted part suppliers and a contract manufacturer (CM) onshore or offshore as your project objectives require. We facilitate the process, helping coordinate the CM and parts supplier relationships, product batch builds, injection tooling approvals, quality plan, test verification, Bill of Materials management, and parts supply coordination.

Need help with your first pilot product build?  

We can navigate, negotiate, document, 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 management. We can continue 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 strategic business teams looking to reduce risk and cost and maximize product value to their end customers.

We are an excellent fit for business teams new to hardware product development who want an expert team to plug in and move their product idea or concept design to volume production. Our diverse team of strategy planners, designers, engineers, and electronics and supply strategy experts makes the transition from product concept to manufacturing a much more 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.
How much will my project cost?

Designing a new hardware product starts with a Concept Design (CD) stage. First, business, marketing, and design teams plan a potential product concept to deliver unique customer value.

An experienced development team can facilitate the requirements definition, oversee the creative design engineering process, provide manufacturing feasibility, and estimate the cost of product and development. A concept design exploration and product architecture definition for a new product idea takes 200 or more hours, depending on the knowledge of the user-buyer, the complexity of the design, the number of custom components, product safety requirements, and any formal documentation required.

Expert fully integrated product Design/Engineering teams in North America have rates from $100 to $ 400 per hour. After a phone discussion, we provide a Design budget based on your project’s specific needs. Call us for a chat.

Click here for more information on our development phases.

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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