Costs & Quotes:
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We work on a very reasonable hourly basis and sometimes on a fixed-cost basis. For typical mechanical design of things that are complex in function but mostly prismatic in shape (non-complex geometry, but including bent-up sheet metal), dimensioned and toleranced engineering drawings are furnished complete for 2 to 3 hours or less (average) per each piece part. Typically assembly drawings including detailed Bills of Material and exploded views wherever necessary are furnished complete for 4 hours or less (average) each. *If you have ever done any significant amount of design and/or careful dimensioning and tolerancing yourself, or had any done for you, we think you'll realize that such as this is stellar performance.* Complex geometry, as for injection molded parts, are most often exceptional to these averages and cannot be easily estimated. For this reason, we don't usually offer firm quotes on the latter type of design. Costs in the estimates above for prismatic mechanical design most often include:

  • Concept creation (presentation via eDrawings Pro, Adobe Acrobat and/or AutoCAD DXF or DWG format files)
  • Off-the-shelf parts sourcing
  • 3D modeling of off-the-shelf parts
  • Changes and revisions within the original scope of the work
  • Communications and collaboration (we insist on close and clear communication -- in both directions)
  • Incidentals (such as trips to the hardware store) which are not just terribly time-consuming

Costs do not include prototyping or any other types of fabrication, or managing or overseeing fabrication, on-site installation and troubleshooting, expenses and other miscellaneous hourly tasks which are agreed upon in advance. Estimates and quotes are based on acceptance of concept without significant changes in direction after the fact. We generally insist on being present for installation and troubleshooting even though our estimates and quotes do not include those costs, and we charge hourly for such services, plus expenses, but we do not bill hours spent working out problems for which we are culpable. When we are expected to take responsibility for trouble-free assembly and operation we have found that we cannot afford to trust to others' efforts. We think this is reasonable and should be easily understandable.

When we quote on a fixed-cost basis we generally ask 20% monies up front, 20% monies upon acceptance of concept, 40% upon delivery of drawings and 20% upon completion of project. When we work on an hourly basis we generally ask for 20% of projected costs upon acceptance of concept model (parts and assembly drawing count estimate), a balance totalling up to 80% of estimated final cost incrementally as design and drawings are completed (including the original estimated 20%) and final 20% upon completion of project.

*We would suggest that those who claim their engineers/designers do better than this on an average probably either have extraordinary (genius, manic and experienced) employees who are always "on" and also they have unusually responsive vendors and suppliers who seldem let them down, or they are kidding someone (perhaps just themselves), or else they're not taking some things into account. We could be wrong (but we're probably not).

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