In the development of many kinds of products, the creation of several product prototypes is essential in order to end up with an item that is functional and completes the task that it was designed for.
These prototypes serve to develop and refine the initial design, as well as present a version of the product to distributors or investors to get feedback or make an impression.
This kind of prototype is often the one that is presented to potential investors, and it will serve the purpose of demonstrating a good idea that will generate financial backing for further development. This item needs to show interested parties just how it works and what purpose it serves. At this point, a great number of modifications and refinements can be made.
Have you ever had an idea for a new product or invention? Imagine coming up with a 3D CAD drawing from your concept and then having it mass produced. You get your hands on the final product only to find out that it does not function how it is supposed to! You just wasted a lot of time and a ton of money! This sounds scary doesn’t it? So how can you avoid this? The answer is simple. Have a prototype made.
There are many benefits of prototypes. As you probably have already realized, one of the major benefits is being able to test your product before production. This makes it possible to prove the overall functions of the product. If your product does not look, feel or function as it should it is not too late. You can make adjustments to your prototype to achieve exactly what you want before mass producing it.
Another benefit of having a prototype made is being able to present the product to product buyers or manufacturers. Prototypes can prove to them the lookand different applications of your product. With today’s technology and experts in prototyping, it is very possible to achieve the exact weight and tolerances of your final product. Prototypes can be working models or static visual models. Having a prototype made can show proof of your working concept and attract money.
If problems are detected in the prototype process, they are much cheaper to fix than during production. They are also quicker to fix than during production. Being able to get your hands on a prototype allows you to examine the look, and applications of the product before it goes is commercial production .Prototypes can be an important marketing tool and can be used to present your concept professionally. In the end prototypes can save you a lot of money and help you create a product that works for the customer. Can you really afford to take the risk of not building a prototype.
Getting the best product prototype design is very essential in product development as it play a big role in making people and especially investors see the example of the final product. And as they say seeing is believing. One should therefore ensure that they get good product prototypes.
Every new idea encourages the scientists and engineers to design and create a new product. They have to face a number of obstacles in the entire process right from the beginning to the ultimate introduction of the product in the market. In order to make this process easy and smooth the inventors of new products make a quick prototype of their design. This prototype also offers various other benefits discussed here under.
Before discussing the benefits of a prototype you must know what prototype is? A prototype can be defined as the first functional and full scale model of the new design.
Reasons to make a prototype
Inexpensive way to avoid failure: Invention prototypes are normally made to avoid the risk of failure as it is the most inexpensive way to find out the faults in the design and amend them before introducing the product finally in the market.
Collection of accurate requirements: Inadequate availability of requirements can compel you to bear nearly half of the cost of the project to work on it again. Traditionally used techniques to gather requirements like focus groups and interviews etc. may not be enough to convince people as most of the do not believe on your idea before you show them their actual shape. You can show the functioning of your product to know the requirements for its final product by creating its functional prototype.
Technical understanding of the issues: In order to understand that you may have to face while introducing final product invention prototypes play a great role. You can easily know the predictable and unpredictable problems in the design of the device, by developing its functional prototype. It will also help you in developing your product more elegantly by applying the solutions you have found out after using the prototype.
Resolve challenges: If you have a strong opinion about the use of particular feature then you can be the best engineer. But difference in opinions of several engineers can result into a conflicting situation which cannot be resolved only on the basis of guesses, experiences and opinions unless you have something solid to work on. A prototype can help you in implementing your different features quickly on it to know about their performance and analyse their results. It not only saves time but also makes it sure that your decisions about the design are correct.
Bring in financial support: The demonstration of a prototype can help in convincing the investors about the feasibility of the idea and encourage them to invest on your idea due to low risk on their investment.
Easy to file patent: Though today’s laws of patent and trademark do not need to file a model or prototype while filing for patenting the invention still it is one of the best ways to convince the authorities and show the reduction of the use of technology in practice.
In this way, a functional prototype of an invention is very effective way to find out the faults in the basic idea and improving the ultimate product before introducing in the market.
Many a time the ideas for various inventions die in the prototype stage itself. Inventors spend a big amount of money as legal fees to get their patent approved, but later get to know that their idea was not sustainable or that the manufacturing cost of the product will be higher than what the customers will willingly spend on it. This is because things were not planned the right way to help you build your prototype the right way and with minimal costs therefore given below are some helpful tips that you can start following right away.
1. Make a tangible prototype
It is with an idea that your patent journey begins. Your idea should be such that you can convey it in a visual way, be it through computer graphics or animation, or by sketching or designing it on paper. At times, things look good as a design or look great on paper, but as you start putting it together you understand that this will not work. As your patent will be based on the material you will use, it will be a good idea to use the graphic and make a tangible prototype. This will help make sure that your patent does not get rejected for not working correctly.
2. Create the prototype yourself
If you create the prototype yourself, you will properly understand how the product is made, if the invention is feasible, and also what kind of manufacturer will be best for the purpose. If you hire a manufacturer to make the prototype for you then you will have to spend a big amount, so instead, check if you can create the prototype using products that you can get from a hardware store.
3. Figure out the retail value of your product
Many a time people have a great idea to work on but they do not know what price they should quote for the same. An important invention prototypes tip is to figure out what should be the price of your product, and to do so you first need to calculate how much you will spend on making the product. Together with taking into account the cost of the product materials, consider the labor expenses or the price you will have to give the manufacturer for creating it, and also the distribution and wholesale costs. Look at volume, and try making use of less priced products. If you buy materials in bulk, the per-head price of the products will go down. The next thing that you need to do is search for similar products in the market and check out their price. Your price needs to be competitive, but at the same time, you must be able to make profits.
4. Never share your ideas with your manufacturer
Yet another important invention prototyping tip is to not let your manufacturer know about your ideas. It will be best to take help of at least a few manufacturers to create one prototype for you but do not tell them what the different parts are meant to do, as this will risk your ideas from being stolen. You may hire a single manufacturer to make the complete prototype, but this should happen only after you make them sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Now that you are aware of some important prototype creation tips, without further wait carefully start following them, create your prototype, get your patent approved, start selling your invented products, and open doorways to great profits.
No company goes out and starts mass production of a new product before creating first an example of this product. This model is called a prototype.
For example, before a new car is built, it must be designed, researched, and developed into a working product. Researchers consumer surveys, analyze market trends, and buying patterns to determine what customers want, and then suggest what kinds of cars to make.
Designers work to turn these new ideas into tangible products. Engineers then adapt what real parts they have and implement them into the new model. They then proceed to produce the prototype. Manufacturers usually start by building a few prototypes before they set up a factory to build the new car.
Product Design Prototype can also be referred to as test machines. They are usually developed to demonstrate the qualities of a new product to stakeholders and clients. The Product Design Prototype, of course, is understood by these people to be yet an incomplete model of the final product. Its purpose is to show the possible attributes of the final product.
Prototypes are also used for test purposes. By subjecting these prototypes to numerous tests, the designers of the product get to see the strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and mistakes in a project. From the information they glean, the designers may proceed to rework the design until the product reaches the objectives of the designers.
In some circles, all the participating cars in a race are called prototypes. This is because these machines are not mass produced.
The cars produced for racing are specialized machines that are supposed to showcase innovations and designs a car manufacturer carry. Therefore, these cars can be considered models. These cars also function as models for future mass produced cars the car manufacturer will create.
Food Industry/Clothing Industry
Designers in this field of industry do not make decisions on what products make it to the production line. They must pitch their designs to their bosses to see which ones make the cut.
They must then show them what their pet projects may look like. These designers proceed to create prototypes of their work to present their bosses with something tangible to decide on.
Often researchers and designers of computers build powerful supercomputers to perform the myriad of complex computations needed for applications such as mathematical computations, artificial intelligence research, and military applications. The power these machines pack is something everyday users salivate over.
These prototypes, however, are just that – prototypes. And as models, they find their way into being mass produced for the masses.
That is the reason why today’s desktop computers are so powerful: a few years ago the power of your computer was used for critical, complex math intensive applications.
Use It Now
The use of prototypes has become an industry-accepted means of product development. It allows the designer to tinker around with a given design to further evolve its quality and to show others a model of the product. Such practice indeed makes the evolution of everyday products efficient.
Inventors are people who are creative and ambitious. These people see a problem and come up with a solution. There are times when they take a difficult path as they strive to bring their invention to the attention of potential buyers. Many inventions don’t make it due to misdirection of initial precious resources. Others spend heavily on inadequate prototype development and filings for full invention patents before their idea is developed into a viable business concept.
Without the services of a professional product development and management (PDM) company, inventors may find a hard time to bring their ideas to reality. Working with a PDM company, inventors can have their concepts developed into real products with potential readiness for the marketplace.
Evaluation of the idea
As an inventor, your invention will be developed by a product designer. Alternatively sculpted or modeled in 3D CAD. This step enables the PDM Company to evaluate your idea for feasibility. The issue of feasibility has some dimensions. It determines whether your invention provides a clear-cut solution to a problem.
You need to put this in mind before spending large sums on invention prototype development . Also, can the invention be manufactured? Maybe your invention does have “financial feasibility”. Does is it have a likelihood of making good returns on your investment, plus that of the organization that buys or leases your patent from you?
An experienced PDM company will assign a Product Development Team with representatives from marketing, manufacturing, and intellectual property management. The team will be able to address your invention’s entire life cycle. Your idea will evolve from prototype development through production to support.
Reception in the market
You will not need to spend a lot on prototyping and patenting an idea which has no possibility of finding a ready market. You have been thinking about your invention for years. It’s best to test the market objectively. Are you sure of the uniqueness of your idea? Someone innovators may have “gotten there” before you, with the same invention, or with a varying approach which solves the same problem which gave you inspiration.
A PDM company will employ focus groups and market testing to refine your product, make it unique and give it the edge it needs to reach its ultimate customers. This is the point at which your PDM Company will join forces with your patent attorney to work with you as strategic partners.
Tools required by buyers
Customers require particular tools before understanding the benefit of your invention. Your buyers will require that you have developed a product forecast based on market feedback and engineering analysis. Buyers will want to know that your product and its production processes are validated. It needs to have obtained all needed regulatory certifications and approvals.
Working with a PDM company is better at cost saving to develop your idea into a real product with value in the marketplace! Choosing the right partner is critical.
How long do you think it takes a new product to reach the market? While knowledge of a particular new item or improvements to an existing one frequently garners media attention – and thus public awareness – with a press release, actual conceptualization and development begin months, if not years, before.
Even before a physical model gets created, researchers and developers – part of an overall product development team that additionally includes engineers and marketing and advertising professionals – look for a need, realized or not considered, in a market: customer feedback, focus groups, interviews, and input from marketing professionals all contribute to brainstorming ideas for potential products.
But after a product is theoretically drawn up, down to its specifications, then what? From here, a preliminary model becomes the basis for the first prototype.
Product Design Prototyping forms the extensive stage between brainstorming and mass manufacturing in product design. While the process has never been uniform, varying with industry and strategy, prototypes in product design fall into the following types:
Proof of Principle:
Functionality over appearance is the characteristic of this particular prototype. The visual semblance is practically nonexistent, although its functionality is tested for the final design.
For this prototype, the final look and feel is very close to a near match; however, the appearance and functionality aren’t used for analysis. Instead, both qualities eventually influence the product’s final form.
The ongoing research involved in product design looks at how users interact and react to the product, and for this purpose, this prototype’s close-to-final-as-possible form assists with research.
Although functionality isn’t taken into consideration with this prototype, its design and aesthetics, including the color, surface, and texture, are extremely close to the final product.
With the closest semblance to the product that is eventually manufactured, this prototype has all aesthetic, functional, and material elements in place. In some instances, however, the size itself may be smaller.
The prototyping phases in product design are iterative; that is, the process continues looping back on itself until a model satisfies all individuals involved, from the engineers to the marketers to the end users. During the process, several materials create prototypes, from paper sketches and breadboard in early stages to software as the design becomes more advanced to the agreed-upon materials with the functional, or working, prototype. With every prototype, users evaluate the design, from its functionality to appearance, and researchers and developers incorporate these suggestions into more revisions.
Don’t underestimate the power of prototyping. Too often the benefits of prototyping an invention are either played down or completely ignored when “experts” take to the issue. But turning your idea into a product sample is probably the most important part of inventing. Producing a model or prototype will help you find the best way to manufacture the device you have invented. It can be useful for all sorts of things like figuring out where to put labels, what the shipping weight will be, how to best package it, what it might cost to manufacture it, and to get feedback from test users. It’s a valuable tool for you to use.
If you are going to try to raise money to manufacture the new product yourself, or if you’re demonstrating it to a potential customer to get a big order, you will need the prototype if you do not already have a production unit to show or demonstrate.
Invention prototypes cannot be ignored because they try to prove the concept of the inventor to potential customers, suppliers, and investors-and most importantly, to the inventor himself. This has been the opinion of majority of experts. The idea behind creating a prototype is the accomplishment of a lot from the point of view of creativity, that too without having to put on so much of money in the idea of product or going for its commitment early on.
Construction of an ‘invention prototype’ at the appropriate time: It’s essential to construct an ‘invention prototype’ much before buying the tooling for building the product or seeking contract manufacturers. Many a times, it so happens that the inventor might, in reality want to build a prototype much before getting too fancy regarding computer drawings. He is likely to burn up loads of cash on ‘engineering drawings’ when possibly what he needs 1st is the papier-mâché clearly showing him what is being tried by him. If that is the case, he is advised to revert to computer-aided drawings.
Assessing the proper time for prototype is not all that tough. It just requires a proof of workability of the product invented by the concerned person.
The proper ‘invention prototype’ for proper audience: An ‘invention prototype‘ should be aimed towards the proper audience for doing its job. It means that the tailoring should be done in such a way that the requirements of the customers get fulfilled much to their satisfaction. Not only that, the prototype should be able to bear the critics of potential partners, investors, suppliers, and customers. Hence, it should be noted that just friendly appraisals are not enough. The more slicker looking and operable the prototype then the ‘better’ it is. However, it’s advisable to not get carried away by the praises. It’s better to spend less on this production, as there would be many other places for spending the startup capital.
Industrial design is more complicated as compared with graphic and web design. In industrial design, the designer is required to work closely with the client to come up with the most acceptable prototype, test and work with it iteratively until an agreed Minimal Viable Product is obtained. Many industrial design companies are now in the design market with most small firms focusing on ideating concepts while the larger organizations are offering end-to-end services.
Factors to consider when choosing the best Industrial Design Companies:
The choice of an industrial designer has turned quite large and confusing. While selecting industrial design companies, who can handle the complexities involved in the industrial design, here are some of the factors to consider:
i. Portfolio of Designs: Before hiring an industrial designer, look at their portfolio and whether they have handled any industrial design project. Most popular companies have handled several design projects and have what it takes to complete any industrial design project.
ii. The amount of research they have undertaken: The best Industrial Design Companies are well versed with research ad developments that are required during product design process. Talk to different firms to understand how much time they have spent on research and what type of research they do. Research should not only focus on form factors but also other aspects concerning consumers’ preferences and the cost of production.
iii. A patent held: consider the number of patents that the company holds as it indicates their ability. It is more likely that the result will be better if you hire a company that holds more patterns.
iv. The range of services they offer: the industrial design process is complicated and is done in several stages, which may include initial discussion, research, ideation of the form factor, 3D modeling, CAD modeling, Alpha testing, Prototype analysis, beta testing, redesigning, etc. Some companies may not be able to offer all the required services, which may hinder the smooth process of the product designed and bringing the product to the market on time. Select a company that will offer all the necessary design services.
v. The timeliness of various design stages: the design company should be able to synchronize its targets with the objectives of your business as well as the market demands. All stages from the initial stages to the final stages must be completed within the scheduled time.
These are just but a few things factors that you need to keep in mind while looking for the best industrial design company. Use this initial consideration to identify a few design firms and go ahead to talk with companies in depth before choosing the best one.
Industrial Design is a systematic application of science and arts to design a product or solution which is mutually beneficial for the user and the manufacturer. This mutually beneficial process is the foundation for creating a value rich product or service. Companies are investing millions today on Industrial design to create environments, systems and processes which will create the world’s best products / services. How to search Industrial Design Companies:
A Good Product Design Does Wonders
Times have changed. Previously, the importance of a good product design often went undervalued but today, a good product design hardly ever goes unnoticed. Industrial designs help shape a company’s cultures and values into their product. It creates a sense of identify and helps the company create its own story. Consumers do not like to spend long hours searching for the perfect product so a good design captures their attention and encourages them to purchase the product, making shopping a lot easier for them. Do not neglect the importance of a great product design. Hire an industrial design company to get the job done for you.Advanced Computer Skills and Designing Experience
An industrial designer spends years studying for a degree. Designing a successful product requires years and experience in field of engineering marketing and art. And where on earth would you find someone that is experienced at using CAD (Computer-Aided Design), a key software used for creating visual concepts and designs. It is unlikely you will find someone so proficient in computer skills somewhere other than a reputed industrial design company.
Look at Your Resources Before getting started, you need to decide the various tools you will use, and the most popular of them is CAD (Computer Aided Design). Always explore your opportunities and keep options open to follow suggestions. The agency must have better ideas they would want you to put into practice.
Makes Things Easier
Ask yourself the following question: Do you really have the time to do all the research? Are you really qualified enough to examine materials and estimate costs? Can you evaluate product safety and determine how well a product can do in the market?If the answer to all the questions is ‘No’, you ought to hire an experienced industrial design company. Industrial designers are skilled at research. They are qualified enough to examine product materials. They are well aware of how the business works and will handle all the technical details for you.
There’s more to designing a product than just sketching and building prototypes. You need to be able to imagine how well your product will do and for that you will need a team of experts that includes not just industrial designers but engineers and marketing specialists too. Marketing specialists are required to market the product and to figure out how well a product will do in the market. You need to be able to lure in as many consumers as you can and for this, while you search industrial design companies the reputable companies have a vast network of companies and individuals. They know how to get the best people on board and how to work with them, so save your time and energy and hire a reputed industrial design company to get the job done.
The following video of 3d printing a prototype for artistic purposes might have a twist in actually usage in medical engineering. This field of 3d printing for medical application is going to be huge in the future.
3D printing in the medical field