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Teardown Research: or, the YouTube rabbit hole

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

I have learned about design for manufacturing by studying other products.

When starting a new design, I try to find a competitor’s product, buy it, and tear it apart.

For medical devices, I usually buy expired products for investigation use.

I first learned about shock and vibe test fixtures for MIL-STD devices from working at

MTS Systems. Since then, I’ve seen many drop tests on YouTube to help explain shock failure modes. This video is old, but covers a wide scope of impact/drop testing.

I also recently saw a video of the entire assembly line at OnePlus. I was impressed by the way that they seal up the phone, the way that they surgically apply many tiny screws etc. These processes give me ideas for new product designs.

Also, I use the part search tool at McMaster-Carr

They have a visual search that usually gets me in the ballpark. Maybe I know I need a pneumatic valve, but not sure what it’s called.

Finally, I regularly use Samtec visual electric connector search when I’m talking to

Electrical Engineers. I can usually find a comparable connector that will work from a mechanical standpoint.

This type of online research might seem like a distraction, but this is where inspiration strikes!

Learn, learn, learn.

Improve your product designs by emulating the experts.

The internet brings the experts to everyone.

Have a great week!


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