When you are designing home decor products the question you need to ask themselves is if the product can actually be manufactured without any quality issues. We have found that there are several six easy tests that we can perform to make sure that our home decor product prototype can be able to be manufactured free of errors.
The six easy tests that you can perform on your home decor product prototypes include 1) the finished test to test the quality of the finish, 2) the stability test to test the product is stable, 3) the rust test to ensure that the product will not rust, 4) the hardware test to ensure that the hardware is up to standard, 5) the cycle test to test for extreme hot and cold temperatures and 6) the packaging drop test.
All these tests are very simple to perform but they can make a big difference as to the final quality of your home decor product prototype.
As most home decor and home furnishing items are products that are going to be used a lot, it is important that the finish on the product is able to withstand normal wear and tear. Because of this, we will test the finish to make sure that the finish can withstand normal use.
There is a very simple way that you can test this. We will take a piece of masking tape or another kind of tape and we will put it on the finish to make sure that the finish does not peel off or come off with the tape. If you find that the finish is coming off with the tape then you will more than likely have a problem with the finish not being able to withstand normal wear and tear.
Some finishes may damage with this test so this is why we like to try to use a tape like masking tape. We find that masking tape will normally not damage most finishes, but will also show us whether or not the finish is able to withstand normal use.
Another place where some people make a mistake is when they are designing home decor products that they do not design a product that is stable enough. For example, when we are producing a lamp, in order for the lamp to be able to be certified as a UL lamp it has to be able to pass a basic tip test.
All home decor products should need to be able to pass a basic tip test. People do not want to walk past an object or brush up against the item, just to find that it has tipped over and is now broken.
Another very basic test that you can do is you can put the item on a board that is slanted about 8 to 10° and then you can see whether or not the item will fall over. If it falls over there’s a good chance that it may not be steady enough.
If you find that your product is tipping over when you place it on an 8 to 10° slant then you may need to consider to either 1) add weight to the bottom or 2) make your base wider.
Rust is also another area that can cause problems. This can even happen on some smaller metal parts such as a screw or nail.
Most suppliers will need to purchase these kinds of items from an outside source. Because of this, it is good if you can do some random tests on the materials they are using to make sure that they are up to standard and will not rust.
We will randomly take some nails or screws that a supplier has purchased and put it in a solution of about 20% salt to the water mixture. What we are doing is essentially making a saltwater solution. If left for 24 to 48 hours and you start to see some rusting develop then you may have a problem with the items not being entirely rustproof.
This is a very simple test that you can do to make sure that some of the hardware and some of the other metal parts and materials are up to the standard required. This basic random test can help ensure that your items are up to standard.
Another problem is the use of different kinds and types of hardware. Like with metal materials such as screws or nails most suppliers will need to purchase the hardware from an outside source. Issues can arise for items such as hinges, pulls or other hardware.
For hardware such as a box hinge or a hinge on a piece of furniture, we will test it on many pieces to make sure they are not a problem. We will do this by opening and closing the box or the piece of furniture many times to make sure that we do not hear any squeaking or we do not see any other issues with the actual hardware/e.
Hardware on the back of items such as wall art or mirror ÷≥®ƒneeds to also be checked very carefully. We will test this by putting a weight on the hardware for about 24 hours to see if the hardware is strong enough. The weight amount you use should be about three times the weight of the overall mirror or wall art.
Another area that can really affect home decor products is with exposure to temperature extremes. When an item is placed in a container and if your container happens to be placed on the very top of the container ship, your container and all its contents could literally get baked during transportation.
On the other extreme if it is the dead of winter and the container is placed on a truck that travels through extremely cold weather, your container and all the contents are frozen on the way to its destination. Sometimes your container or contents could go through these hot and colr extremes several times during the journey to the final destination.
The cycle test is the test that will help you to be able to test for extreme hot or cold temperatures. As climate extremes continue to happen around the globe, testing for hot and cold extremes by conducting a simple cycle test is very important.
To test for extreme cold weather, we will place the item in the freezer for about 24 to 48 hours. This will allow us to see if the item is able to withstand extremely cold temperatures or be frozen for a period of time.
To test for the extreme heat, we will place the item in the oven for 24 to 48 hours. We may not always leave the oven on but we may take the item in and out of the oven over a period of several hours. Our goal is to see how the item will handle extreme heat if the item gets heated up to 140 to 150°F or 60 to 65°C.
Packaging Drop Tests
Another important test for a home decor product prototype is a packaging drop test. This test should be completed once the item is packed and as it will be packed for shipment.
To find out more about how to perform a packaging drop test you can read our blog What is a Product Packaging Drop-test? by clicking here.
One of the great things about all of these tests is that you can easily do them without much equipment. But each of these tests will help you to be able to find any errors in your home decor product prototypes.
At Mondoro we can help you to create develop and manufacture home decor and home furnishing products. If you have a need to be able to create some great products please feel free to contact me by clicking here. We would love to hear from you and see how we can help you.
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