We Design. We Engineer.
At Steele Inc., we design, engineer, and prototype new products. We’re a full service product development company. Our clients choose us to develop their idea into a fully functioning, productized result. Our success is attributed to our unique, head-turning design aesthetic and advanced engineering expertise combined with our massive prototyping solutions. We’re driven by our immense passion for creating new and exciting products that benefit and connect with the end user.
Our clients mean everything to us and as such we have the same mission in mind: Develop your product to be the best it can be. That’s it. We work tirelessly to develop your product to transcend what’s thought possible and we strive to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo. We use our design talent, engineering expertise and top of the line machines to create incredible products that all start with your idea. Your goals are our goals. Our services are your solution.
Why do people choose Steele?
See your product in 3D as it’s developed. Make notes, ask questions, and showcase the design as it progresses. Track milestones, provide feedback and make payments, all on our site.
Flexible Payment Options
We prefer a flexible, comfortable billing cycle based on milestones completed rather than large, in full payments. Enjoy the comfortability of paying as the design progress and the freedom to cancel at any time.
Last, but certainly not least, our design aesthetic is a huge part of what makes us successful. Not enough can be said about working with a company like Steele that puts design and user experience first.
It all starts here.
Market Research & Project Planning
Identify market conditions, validate concept, outline a project plan.
The first thing we want to do is understand you, the client, and what your needs are. What is your brand, your goals, and your mission? We also want to understand what the product is. We should always be on the same page throughout development and that starts day one.
We need to understand the existing market. Who is the competition, what are the existing solutions, and how can we do it better? We want to understand boundaries and barriers.
Validating a concept is an important step in any new development. Validation may be achieved by doing rough sketches, initial engineering, and even prototyping. The goal here is to prove that a product is viable, understand the risks, and provide data to be utilized throughout the project.
A project plan is the foundation for the entire project. While we have to be willing to adapt to changes and unknowns we must have deliverables, milestones, and various tasks lined out before development begins.
Industrial Design & Visualization
Explore aesthetic design choices, form factor, and user experience.
We start with concept sketches to determine the best route, visually, to move forward. We capture ideas regarding form and aesthetic design quickly before moving onto CAD and 3D modeling. We share ideas and sketches with the client in order to choose direction.
3D modeling is a majority of our design process. We design and prototype digitally, with the ability to explore opportunities in a design and assess challenges or errors that may come about when physically prototyping or even during production. We explore form and shape, user experience and ergonomics.
Rendering allows us to see what a product will look like without having to physically produce it early on. We can explore materials, colors, and various settings. Rendering allows us to share designs with the client as well as internally to assess direction moving forward.
We tend to build basic prototypes early on to experiment with new ideas, assess ergonomics and validate overall design and concepts. These prototypes may be made from clay, 3D printed or even built by hand. These are often kept in-house throughout the development process.
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering
Begin engineering tasks and implement industrial design.
Although much of this is documented in Phase I, we go more in depth and build a list of technical requirements. For instance, the client could specify that the product needs to hold a charge of 10 hours in an environment that’s 0 degrees Celsius. Or a requirement could be simple as “Product should feature and an OLED display.” These requirements allow us to focus and deliver milestones.
Our mechanical engineers work side by side with our electrical engineers. Mechanical CAD assemblies are developed in congruence and simultaneously with electrical schematics and circuit designs. Enclosures have to house circuit boards and circuit boards have to fit into enclosures. Electrical and mechanical engineering compliment one another in unison.
Once physical hardware has been built or designed we can begin software and firmware development. The logic, the code behind a product. The “if this, then that’s”.
Having circuit boards and physical components built allows us to test engineering and design. It’s the stage where everything comes together albeit not perfect. It’s a stage of learning and proof of concept.
Finalize design, produce final prototypes, and assist in setting up production.
Re-engineer for Robustness
Once a few rounds of prototyping have been completed, it’s time to engineer and finalize a design. We design for worst case scenarios where environments and use cases are extreme.
Redesign for Efficiency
Over engineering can kill a product. The product must still remain friendly, attractive, and unobtrusive. We combine functionalities and features giving one aspect of a design multiple roles. Simplicity is always the end goal.
We’ve spent time developing a product, learning and creating technologies and processes. Data was collected and assemblies were created. Documentation is built up throughout the entire process but in this phase it is tweaked and finalized. Processes may be removed and items consolidated.
It’s now time for what is typically the last step, a Beta Prototype. This prototype looks and functions just as the final product should with albeit with limitations and small differences. For instance the enclosure is 3D printed instead of injection molded.