Prototyping is an integral process for development of any product. Whether you wish to manufacture consumer goods, gadgets, unique tools, appliances, interior design applications, artistic structures, clothing items or anything, you would need to make a prototype. While conceptualization and planning are the first stages of product development, prototyping is the immediate next stage and also one of the most significant in the entire cycle of product development.
Many people ask what is Prototype, well prototype is the first and the following samples or models of any product that is made to transform a concept into a real product. When you have an idea, it is simply an amalgamation of some images, features, functions and benefits. Any type of product is only a hypothesis at its first stage. When the concept is laid out on a paper, it becomes a theory. Prototyping is the entire process to develop the sample, to test the theory in practical terms and to ascertain if the concept can be transformed into reality.
Prototyping is not only a testing phase but also an evolutionary process. Once a prototype is made, it is tested for its functionality and efficiency among other attributes. Every inference noted at the stage of testing a prototype is worked upon to make a better prototype. This process goes on until the perfect prototype is made which eventually becomes the end product.
Stages Of Prototyping
Prototyping is not a one step approach. There are many stages of prototyping. While it is difficult to categorize each small step, at GloberDesign we broadly classify them in these four stages.
Concept sketch is the first representation of an idea. It can be in the form of an image and should include every visual detail that the product would eventually bear. Being the first step, a lot depends on the concept sketch since any modifications in the concept sketch later would inevitably compel amendments in the next stages.
Advanced sketch is a more refined and upgraded version of the concept sketch. It is how the product would ultimately appear and not just as an illustration of the idea.
Once the sketches are in place, prototyping involves mechanical engineering or other technical procedures (in case the product is a design and not hardware) that would make the prototype function.
The three stages cumulatively, along with other interim processes, create the first prototype. This prototype is tested and reworked upon until it is perfect.