Twelve Parsecs
Precision Mechatronics, Electromagnetic, and Optomechanical Engineering

We'll help you go point five past lightspeed.

Product Engineering and Prototyping

Twelve Parsecs can help with any or every phase of R&D for product development. 

We like to start with "blue sky" brainstorming that emphasizes novel approaches to solve the design challenge. Using technical analysis and simulation that progresses from quick back of the envelope calculations through detailed FEA and dynamic simulations, we optimize the system design for maximum performance. Once the concept is defined, the parameters are optimized, and we know it is going to work, we finish the detailed design, including CAD model, mechanical drawings, electrical schematics, cable harness design, and PCB layout.

The next phase is building and testing actual hardware. Working in our facility or yours, we can quickly build a prototype and integrate the mechanical, electronic, and optical hardware. Since nothing ever works perfectly the first time, the next step is to systematically debug what's happening and determine why. Most high tech products require some embedded or real time software.  We usually complete that software development in parallel with testing the prototype, fixing any problems, and making improvements.

  • Concept Generation
  • Analysis and Simulation
  • Detailed Design
  • Prototype Fabrication
  • Debugging
  • Embedded Software
  • Experiments and Evaluation
Problem Solving Experiments and Analysis

Complex mechatronic or optomechanical systems often have some trouble when they are first put together. We look forward to visiting your lab or cleanroom to find the root problems and develop countermeasures.

Isolating problems in complicated systems is often a detective game. The process starts with an idea of what might be happening. The fun part is conducting experiments that can show whether or not this hypothesis is correct. Sometimes it takes a few iterations to show the exact root cause. Then we can design and implement countermeasures in mechanical hardware, electronics, or software.

  • Systematic Debugging
  • Vibration Measurement and Mitigation
  • Servo Control Tuning
  • Simulation to Corroborate Experiments
  • Mechanical Improvements
Design Review

As an outside consultant we can bring a fresh perspective to your existing or under-development design. 

We provide feedback and ideas (what looks good, design suggestions, things to watch for, alternative ideas) for mechanical design, motion control, thermal considerations, packaging and integration, simulations (time domain or FEA), and analysis. We enjoy teaching lessons learned from past projects and are happy to provide mentoring and advice to your team.

Many times it's desirable to work on "Plan B" concepts that serve as a backup to the primary design. While the backup plan is often not adopted, we always discover something important or develop new ideas that improve the primary design. If there are design alternatives you've considered but don't have time or bandwidth to study on the critical path, we can look at them in parallel.

  • Feedback and Suggestions
  • Sharing Past Experience to Mentor Engineers
  • Study of “Plan B” Alternatives
  • Proof of Concept Experiments
Intellectual Property

With decades of experience writing disclosures and patents and working with patent attorneys, Twelve Parsecs understands the value of intellectual property.

Services we provide include consulting on patent strategy, writing or reviewing invention disclosures and patent applications, helping you understand the prior art, and improving your patent portfolio to deter competition. Usually it's not enough to write a patent that describes your invention. Rather the patents need to work together to create secure protection of your inventions and to dissuade competitors from inventing around your IP.

  • Patent Strategy
  • Disclosure and Application Review
  • Prior Art Evaluation
  • Patent Fence Brainstorming

Areas of Specialty

Concept Brainstorming
Mechanical Design
System Engineering
Electromagnetic Design
System Debugging
Project Management
Data Analysis
Precision Control Systems
Precision Assembly
Thermal Management
Optical Sensors
Mechanical Dynamics
Servo Tuning
Error Budgets
Electronic Design (digital and analog)
Design of Experiments