3D Modeling for Manufacturing Case Study

A global manufacturing customer approached JN White® for assistance designing a new, complex manufacturing membrane switch. The project required many iterations, 3D modeling and extensive engineering support. In the end, the virtual prototype developed by JN White® provided the customer assurance that they would receive exactly what they needed within appropriate tolerances.

Challenges

The customer approached JN White® for help in the development of a new, custom membrane switch. The switch had a number of complex requirements including tricolor LED’s for custom color; backlighting that would work for large icons and be visible during daylight; non-tactile feedback; as well as the incorporation of an NFC (near field communication) antenna.

How JN White® Helped

The customer sent their preliminary drawings and sketches to the engineering team at JN White®. The team worked closely with the customer using advanced 3D modeling to drive the design process. JN White® utilized their expertise with custom tricolor LED’s to insure the large buttons (icons) were lit appropriately for uniformity and brightness. The JN White® team also utilized silver conductive ink with dialectic spacer dots to accommodate the non-tactile feedback requirement.

Use of 3D modeling allowed the customer to envision the prototype virtually and view how it would work in application. These 3D tools are very effective for simulating different elements of design during development and provide confidence that the final product will work as designed.

Results

The final virtual prototype developed by JN White® provided the customer assurance that they would receive exactly what they needed within appropriate tolerances. The final design met all requirements for the product including uniform lighting of a large icon with tricolor LED’s and the inclusion of an NFC (near field communication) antenna. The final product is now feasible and fully functional.

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JN White is an ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR-certified manufacturer of membrane switches, graphic overlays, and custom labels. All of our products are Made In The U.S.A. We specialize in the design and manufacture of complex graphic overlays, complex membrane switch keyboards, assembly and membrane switch testing. Our supporting products and services include: rapid prototyping; electronic shielding (ESD); backlighting (including addressable LEDs); design & development; vendor managed inventory (VMI); and medical device, UDI and UL label constructions. JN White works with global brands in the aerospace, medical device, medical instruments, industrial electronics, consumer appliance and defense (or military/DoD) industries. Made in America. Made in the U.S.