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Why design and test the critical parts first

Always design and test the critical or most difficult parts first.

We always design and test the critical parts of a design first. The ones with the most uncertainty in them. Or the ones that contain high “risk” for the design project. Sometimes a part might end so expensive that it would make the product unviable.

If we don’t consider these parts first, or very early in the project, then it’s like building a house without first checking it has solid foundations. But if we do them early on in the project, when we later start adding lots of details and designing more parts, we know the core of the design is going to work.

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In this case in the image shown, are parts to test the core ‘pump’ of a design for a grease applicator. There’s a lot of parts needed to go around these parts but we didn’t design those until we were sure of the critical parts. Makes sense right? But some designers don’t do this! The amount of times I’ve heard a designer say “But that part of it will “definitely” work, or “I’m 100% sure” only to find out that in real world testing it actually fails for some overlooked reason. Which is fine, unless you’ve already designed and built 30 other parts that rely on that part working! And those are now totally obsolete! Oh what fun that is ! So, I we will stick with my “Test the core parts” principle.

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