HOW IT WORKS

Develop, Manufacture and Sell My Designs

The Breakthemold Design Platform allows designers to develop designs from concept into final product – which can then be sold through their own channels and via the Breakthemold marketplace.

Your Private Design Studio

As a registered user you can easily create a free, private design profile, which gives you the ability to selectively invite people to collaborate on your design concepts – invite colleagues from your personal network, or choose people from groups within the Breakthemold network. You can then iterate a design, begin working with manufacturers to establish the feasibility of production, and ready products for sale on the marketplace.

Think of each Breakthemold design profile as being a room in a private studio, where you can allow individuals you know and trust to join you. You can then work with this network you create to improve concepts and move them forward. You may have multiple design concepts that you are working on, each with it’s own ‘room’. This space is private. You decide who has access.

*All design profiles are private – they are not published or showcased in any way.

Breakthemold Network

Designers often have a strong network of skills, but could still use input from specialists during certain stages of the product development process – perhaps a designer is good at 3D modeling, but needs advice from a materials specialist who works with plastic in order to adjust a model for production.

Breakthemold gives you access to an extensive community of product design professionals of varying skills – once you have started a new product profile, you can invite them to give input on your project by adding them as collaborators. Find and contact specific categories of specialists, and request support on your project, while maintaining control of who can see your work. Once you have completed the design stage, you can then progress to manufacturing.

Manufacturing

There are two main ways of manufacturing a product on Breakthemold:

1. You know what manufacturing services you need and simply add them to your design profile as collaborators – from there you directly engage with the manufacturers yourself.

2. You use the managed prototype and manufacturing service provided on the Breakthemold Design Platform. The ‘Request a Quote’ page connects you to a team of specialists who identify the manufacturing specialists you need – they help you work your design from concept to prototype and into manufactured product stage.

 

Find more details about this service under the section on Manufacturing. Once you have your products manufactured and ready for sale, Breakthemold connects you to customers, retailers and architects via the marketplace

 

Sign up for free and get started straight away.

How our Process works

Breakthemold’s process is significantly different from most product development sites you may have encountered. The main reason is that product development, as a whole, is not a ‘cookie cutter’ type process with clearly defined stages. Product development varies depending on the type of product and the people involved in the process – creativity playing a large role in the development. Additionally, we have found that most product development services either cost a fortune, and/or take control away from the designer.

We have developed a design network that allows you to stay at the centre of the product development process, while retaining control of your design work and IP.

As a designer, you can use the Breakthemold Design Platform to plug into a network of industry specialists in order to support and complement one another’s needs. This means that you have the potential to get customers or retailers involved in the product development process, along with manufacturers and materials specialists at any time.

Once your design is ready for manufacturing, you can engage multiple specialist providers or use a fully managed service to get your products prototyped and manufactured.

Designers have the option of using component services or an end-to-end process depending on needs.

 

When the final product is complete, it can be listed for sale to both B2B and B2C customers via the Breakthemold marketplace.

Our process is structured to help designers develop and grow their own business – this includes their client base, network and overall capabilities. We provide a service that is built to be sustained and developed over time. It’s harder to do, and takes time, but the great designers we have met are there for the long haul because they love what they do. That works for us.

 

Selective Needs

You can use the Design Platform and Marketplace for a combination of end outcomes.

If you have products already manufactured, and you would like to get access to some more high street retailers, you can simply use the marketplace.

Just want to work on a design concept with a friend, but need the help of a CAD specialist? Find one on the Design Platform.

Have small-scale manufacturing in place, but want to scale up? Connect to a list of specialist manufacturers, both locally and abroad, to find what suits your needs.

You can sign up quickly and have a look around for yourself. It’s FREE!

Who can use the Design Platform?

In short – the product design industry.

We work with a complete network of specialists from across the product development industry. This ranges from established product design brands, who use our service to complement their existing sales channels, to students who are looking for guidance alongside their academic curriculum. We are working with most of the London Design Universities to give students greater access to the commercial side of product design, with the goal of giving them a meaningful chance of self-employment upon graduation. The majority of our users are emerging designers and professional design teams working as a small studio.

If you are not a designer, but have an idea that you wish to progress, you can still use the Design Platform. However, it’s important to understand that we don’t take design concepts and develop them for you. If you are interested in progressing an idea yourself and driving it to completion, we can provide you with a significant number of resources. Upon completion of the product design process, we can also help you market and sell your designs.

Who owns IP, and how are my concepts protected?

You retain full ownership of your IP!

Our Design Platform is structured to give you full control of your work and all privacy features.

Our Terms of Use specifically prevent us (or anyone on the platform) from using, or copying a design without putting a commercial agreement in place with the designer. We do not license designs before taking them through product development. Our Process is based on bringing resources to you in order for you to better develop your design concepts, without worrying about losing your IP. Furthermore, when a design profile is created on Breakthemold, it is time stamped – this gives designers a record of when their design concept was ‘published’ and helps protect the designer’s IP.

Breakthemold loves working with designers, and by helping you we get access to innovative new products, which we can promote on our marketplace.

Fees. I heard Breakthemold is a free service, is that right?

Yes, Breakthemold is FREE to designers.

It can be difficult for independent designers to produce new work and pay for specialist input at every step of the production process. We’re here to make that easy. We’ve starting changing the game by providing access to a range of commercial opportunities on a no-success, no-fee basis for the designer.

ADDING DESIGN CONCEPTS

Adding Concepts to the Design Platform

The first step is to create an account and complete your personal profile. Once that is complete you can begin creating product profiles. When you create a product profile, your project is private by default. You can then choose to ‘Add Collaborators’ where you can control who has visibility of your project, and who can contribute feedback.

Adding New Design Concepts

Criteria for using the Design Platform for developing:

  1. You must be the originator of the design concept
  2. You are not copying or infringing upon another person’s design
  3. Design concepts are legal and are intended for legal use – they do not carry risk of severe injury, and are not intended to inflict harm on others in any way.

Any design concepts that pose a risk to others well being will be removed from the platform and/or the user’s account or suspended at our sole discretion. This includes design concepts that contain or are used for: hate speech, defamatory remarks, violence, or illegal actions.

Can I add more than one design concept?

Yes, you may upload as many design concepts as you like!

Do my designs need to be selected?

In short, no, your products will not go through a selection process.

We believe that crowd opinions can be good for measuring whether a product has found an audience. Lets just say, we support designers in creating a product to completion without the constraints of a predetermined market.

We also believe that designers who work on products they really care about have a vision of what needs to be – they don’t necessarily want to build their masterpieces based on other’s expectations.

Curation has it’s place, but within the context of our Design Platform we don’t assume to be able to ‘pick winners’ in the market any better than the next person. We’re not here to set a fixed opinion about what ‘good design’ is.

Removing Non-Original Design Concepts.

The purpose of the Design Platform is to give provide designers with resources so that they can refine their concepts, create iterations, go to manufacture, and finally sell their designs.

There is an element of conflict inherent in that creative process. Picasso said, “great artists steal”, and there is truth in the saying that genuinely new ideas are hard to find. Registered intellectual property is something that must be observed, but doing Intellectual property searches on patents and design protections for every product is hardly feasible.

Our approach is that deciding what is ‘borrowed’ and what is ‘ok’ comes from the knowledge of the design community. Based on that belief, each design profile has a ‘Report a Problem’ button, and it’s functionality is mirrored on the comment stream below each design.

Report a Problem

We encourage everyone on the Design Platform to participate in moderating the design community, and in ensuring that we have an increasing standard of design output. Let’s solve real world problems, and move people to think differently about the world through the products we create. We like to think of it as more TED and less YouTube.

PRIVACY AND COLLABORATION SETTINGS

Privacy Settings and Adding Collaborators

*All design profiles are private – they are not published or showcased in any way.

As a registered user you can easily create a free, private design profile, which gives you the ability to selectively invite people to collaborate on your design concepts – invite colleagues from your personal network, or choose people from groups within the Breakthemold network. You can then iterate a design, begin working with manufacturers to establish the feasibility of production, and ready products for sale on the marketplace.

Think of each Breakthemold design profile as being a room in a private studio, where you can allow individuals you know and trust to join you. You can then work with this network you create to improve concepts and move them forward. You may have multiple design concepts that you are working on, each with it’s own ‘room’. This space is private. You decide who has access.

Once you have created a profile for your design concept, you will be able to ‘Invite Collaborators’ via two routes:

  1. Choose to ‘Add Contacts’
  2. Use the ‘Breakthemold Network’

 

 

Add Contacts

This option allows you to enter email addresses of people within your existing network, and send them an email invitation to view and collaborate on your design concept. You can choose to include people from any industry (such as manufacturers, or materials specialists) depending on your product development requirements.

Breakthemold Network

This option allows you to enlist support from specialists within the Breakthemold network – it’s most useful when your personal network doesn’t cover the skills you require. You can choose to select one group of specialists at a time, and change permissions, or add multiple groups at once. Users within the groups you add will see your design profile in their Design Gallery upon login.

* Product Designers – Fellow designer who will help refine, develop and prepare concepts for manufacture.

* Wholesale Buyers – Buyers interested in bulk purchases to sell in retail stores.

* Support Services – Serice providers such as IP specialists, Model Makers, Materials Specialists

* Enthusiasts – Fellow designers and design lovers with an eye for detail and great ideas.

 

The Current Market

While it may seem counter intuitive to add unknown people to your design profile, it’s worth considering how the market is currently set up.

If you’re like most designers, you will have exhibited your designs at some point in your career. During an exhibition you have no control over who comes by to view your work. You just hope someone steps forward and loves what you’ve created. Similarly with portfolio sites, you have a completely open profile.

 

Benefits of the Breakthemold Design Platform

The collaboration settings on the Design Platform provided the following benefits:

  1. When uploading details of their design, designers can change privacy setting to control viewing permissions and avoid unwanted exposure.
  2. Your work is not just ‘shown off’ to the world without incentive to gain from your hard work.
  3. Breakthemold gives you access to a network of industry specialists, while still allowing you to control how you engage with them.

 

You still need to engage with others to get support for your own project.

How does the Breakthemold Network help review designs?

The Breakthemold Design Platform has been specifically built to:

  1. Help find the most innovative, unique design concepts that can improve the way we live and solve real world problems.
  2. Allow a given product designer to benefit from the resources offered by a creative community to help refine, validate and collaborate on new design concepts (where appropriate).
  3. Focus design efforts towards developing design concepts through manufacture to sales where they have real world impact.

We believe a strong community of designers will only enhance the quality of products that are submitted. To further support this process, we have structured the design feedback form on each concept to prompt insightful, well thought out commentary, that benefits the product development process. Users are encouraged to evaluate designs based on the four mandatory descriptive fields that are filled out by the designer during the design upload/submission process. These are:

DESIRABILITY

FUNCTIONALITY

FEASIBILITY

MARKET ALIGNMENT

 

Feedback in these four key areas can help strengthen a designs proposition through validation. These categorisations of assessment have been influenced by the work of world-renowned design consultancy ‘IDEO’ and the co-devised ‘HCD (human centred design) toolkit’. It can be found for free online, and it is inspirational – go find it!

review

 

When this feedback mechanism is simply not relevant, users can switch to a standard ‘comment’ view for free form input.

 

review

Get Support from specialists on my design concepts.

Positive feedback from the design community helps elevate a design concept to the top of the Design Gallery. There it is more likely to be noticed and further supported by industry specialists. It’s in your best interest to actively participate in community feedback so that others will do the same for you. Invite friends, colleagues and like-minded designers to support your work!

MANUFACTURING

How do I manufacture a product using Breakthemold?

There are two ways you can use Breakthemold to get your product out of your head and into the light of day:

1. Get a specialist to manage the process for you

2. Do it yourself

The following articles will explain the two options available to you in detail.

Using the managed prototype and manufacture service

Once on the Breakthemold Design Platform, you have access to a fully managed manufacturing. This means that you can avoid the complexity of dealing with specialist manufacturing techniques. Begin by using the ‘Request a Quote’ functionality within the Design Platform. From there you have access to a streamlined process that allows you to move designs from concept to prototype and off to manufacturing in a matter of weeks.

Be it a table lamp or a bespoke corporate gift idea, the process adheres to a clear, structured three stage process:

Stage One – Rapid Prototyping, where products are transformed into 3D CAD files and a 3D printed, scaled model is produced.

Stage Two – Product Development, which aims to make products ready for manufacture.

Stage Three – Manufacturing, where anywhere from 1 to 10,000 product units are manufactured, packaged and made ready for sale.
This service is highly recommended for anyone not experienced in the type of manufacture being used for their design concept.

What happens after I request a manufacturing quote?

After you have requested a quote, our manufacturing team will be added to your design concept as a collaborator. Shortly after, a member of the team will message you on your design profile. They will talk you through next steps and outline how they can be of assistance. There is no obligation at this stage, it’s simply an opportunity to engage and assess what next steps are appropriate and get some pricing options.

Using your own manufacturing specialists

If you have experience in a particular manufacturing process, you may wish to coordinate your own manufacturing suppliers. In this case, you can use the Breakthemold Design Platform to interact with manufacturers of your choosing to refine and develop your product. Simply add your chosen manufacturer as a collaborator on your project, and engage with them as needed to get your product ready. Once you’re done, you can start selling your product via the Breakthemold Marketplace.

Licensing Opportunities

Breakthemold works with selected companies to identify new products that could be licensed (or developed under license) and added into their existing product ranges. These will typically be promoted as a ‘Call for Designs’.

SUPPLIERS

We’re not a retailer or designer, can I use Breakthemold?

Yes – we’d love to work with you too! You can sign up and select an appropriate account during the registration process.

We have design companies joining our design network weekly. Many of them are asking for manufacturing options or specialist skills and would like to use local suppliers where possible.