Zaic Design was founded in 2013 with a mission to provide aesthetically appealing design solutions for engineering teams developing precision scientific instruments.
Precision instruments present unique product design challenges. They may require a chassis with special rigidity, a light-tight enclosure, active thermal management, eye-safety measures, or a completely unique user interface.
Over the years we have found that even scientific instruments benefit from loving attention to the smallest detail. To us, user-centric design goes beyond ergonomic form. We aim to design instruments that are beautiful and a pleasure to use.
Product Design/ Conceptualization:
When we meet with companies developing new technology, we seek to understand what makes their product exciting and who they are trying to reach. Will the product be kept in a dark, wet corner of a factory? Will it be the eye-catching centerpiece in a newly commissioned research laboratory?
Often, we find that diverse research teams creating new technology platforms are so focused on solving the technical problems at hand that they have not given much thought the final appearance of the instrument.
This is where we get busy. After collecting all known technical requirements, we create conceptual artwork showing potential forms their product could take. We hold as many design reviews as needed to refine the team’s vision and choose a direction that generates the most enthusiasm. We encourage product development teams to share the concepts and get as much feedback as possible from their potential end users.
Product Prototyping :
We have found that prototyping precision instrumentation often involves precision CNC machining. For this reason, alongside our Stereolithography (SLA) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printers, we have added industrial CNC machining centers for cutting and shaping metal, programmed and operated by highly experienced prototyping staff.
By investing in this equipment and personnel, we can test precision mechanisms with a speed and success rate not possible otherwise. This in-house precision prototyping capability is key to our success as a precision instrument product development team.
Pre-Production Manufacturing and Project Management:
We do not stop at conceptual and prototyping work. We have found that our most successful design projects included a pre-production manufacturing stage. In this stage, we create all necessary mechanical engineering documentation for manufacturing the new design. We then manage all sourcing, assembly, and fabrication activities required to create a limited manufacturing run, from 1-10 units, or whatever is needed.
The pre-production step allows us to discover and resolve any quality or design issues ahead of full-scale production efforts. In cases where the product will eventually be assembled at an overseas site, a stateside pre-production run is especially valuable. We have found that this step drastically reduces downstream manufacturing issues and has the side benefit of providing fully functional product samples for early market feedback.
User’s Guides, Packaging Design and Marketing Imagery
Artwork for packaging and marketing can make or break a product launch. We work closely with our clients to help define the product’s brand. Small details in this phase are critical. Our graphic designers are experts at communicating the correct message to the end user, from packing design to quick start guides and online instructional information.
We would love to hear about your project!
In-House Metalworking Capability:
- Haas VF-2 Vertical Machining Center
- Haas VF-0 Dual-Turret 4 Axis Table
- Diamond-turning CNC Lathe
- Clausing-Colchester Toolroom Lathe
- Bolvar Schultz Surface Grinder
- K3 Prototrak Knee Mill
- 80W Laser Engraver
3D Printing Capability:
- Prusa MK3i
- Build volume: 250 x 210 x 210 mm
- Brass Nozzle: 0.4mm for 1.75 mm filament
- Layer Height: 0.05mm
- Prusa MK3 modified for chopped carbon
- Build volume: 250 x 210 x 210 mm
- Steel Nozzle: 0.4mm for 1.75 mm filament
- Form Labs Form 2 SLA Printer
- Build volume: 145 × 145 × 175 mm
- Layer Height: 0.025mm
What Our Customers Say About Us
“Chris is fantastic to work with! He is passionate and dedicated to his clients and projects. Chris’s meticulousness and consideration throughout his creative process makes it a pleasure to work with him. He provides valuable creative expertise and delivers beyond our expectations. I would recommend Zaic Design to anyone looking for a quality partner with innovative ideas.”
Director of Marketing- Consumer Solutions
“Chris and Yumi provide a perfect combination of creativity and technical expertise for our creative design projects. They take the time to understand our needs, work closely with us to arrive at the best approach, and deliver solutions that exceeds our expectation. I would recommend Chris and Yumi to anyone who is looking for creative design work.”
Global Director of Branding and Marketing Services
“Chris Zaic is a very talented design engineer whom I’ve had the extreme privilege of working with on many projects through the years. He excels in his ability to transform our conceptional thinking into spot on renderings with a great grasp of current engineering capabilities combined with a solid marketing foundation. Being in the business for over 30yrs I have found, his continued value added solutions with in house prototyping and presentation model capabilities has made his services a very cost effective addition to any business model.”
R&D Global Procurement Manager
“Chris has provided outstanding work to Datacolor for several of our flagship products – from conceptual design to deep-level mechanicals. He has consistently resolved very difficult engineering challenges with elegant solutions that meet design requirements and are satisfying to the end user.”
“I would recommend Chris to anyone in need of a mechanical/industrial design service. His thoughtful attention to the smallest detail resolved critical issues at a speed that we found remarkable. Excellent work.”
Director, Global Market and Product Management
"Chris offers a rare combination of artistic sensibility, mechanical design expertise, and oversees manufacturing experience, which has been an excellent fit for our needs. I recommend his design services without hesitation. "
VP, R&D and Operations
"Chris is an excellent mechanical engineer. Anytime an obstacle was discovered he was always ready with new ideas and solutions. His design and production of the fixtures we used was excellent. It was much easier having Chris make many of the parts since he understood the operation and was able to adapt quickly. Chris always listened to different opinions and he never got tied down to a specific option even though it was his own idea. A big part of the reason we advanced so rapidly was the ability of Chris to both design and manufacture specific fixtures and parts quickly and accurately.
I would highly recommend Chris for any future project in Datacolor. If I was starting a new company, Chris would definitely be one of my first hires.”
Color Technology Manager