What is prototyping?
|Prototyping is a physical model of your idea and design. It occurs after the sketch, but before the mass production. We never get things right the first time. Prototyping turns the design into an object that we could touch it, test it, and analyze it. When you holding the prototyping in hand, it can tell you how brilliant your idea is, or how terrible it is. The iterative improvements and prototypes avoid the mass production cost for faulty products.|
Do we really need so many prototypes？Depending on the differences in materials, production ways, structure, appearance, there are kinds of prototypes to get close to the final product. You may have a functional prototype that may look nothing like your design. You may also have a prototype with the same appearance but completely non-functioning. Or you may have prototypes with mixed features. Every prototype is a different stage of the product design process until they reach the final product. Like the founders of IDEO said, “If a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is worth 1000 meetings.” It is more practical to make the product works.
7 reasons for the prototypes
1. Test and evaluate your design
You could notice each flaw which you can’t find it on the paper or screen. Assembly test, function test, appearance test, package test, etc. All the tests need to be performed on the prototyping. You can get more clear which part should be refined, removed, added. Now that you see your product, why not change it to be more popular?
2. Clarifying cost and improvement
A prototype is expensive. However, prototypes can be cheap compared to failure full production. To avoid any unnecessary expenses, prototypes can be evaluated specifically by the engineering team. Does the red color look better? Is injection molding cheaper? Is plastic more durable? You can gain the money in the prototypes.
3. Pre-sale and gain invest
For some innovative products, unique function or curiosity is the key feature to attract customers and investors. However, A physical product shows more certain aspects than pretty pictures.
Sometimes there are unintentional coincidences in the designs. A prototype is a safe way to demonstrate the invention.
5. Display for Exhibition
Large-scale or precious equipment/product is inconvenient during the transportation, as well as the safety. Replace the products with prototypes is effective.
6. Get feedback from customers
Customers’ feedback is the key to verify whether the product is marketable. We always feel proud of our design, but it makes no sense when customers refuse it. Sending the prototypes to customers and changing the design as per customers’ feedback is an important stage to success.
7. Resolving conflicts
Various opinions are beneficial to the product design. But the strong opinions from excellent engineers can lead to conflicts easily. Prototyping makes the demonstration directly and quickly.
Here is the infographic for quick reference.
In a word, Full production can become a nightmare without prototyping verification. All the customer complaints, product recall, money, and time lost will be horrible. In the meantime, we need to be vigilant for the prototyping trap. For some designers and engineers with good practical ability and funding, Making the prototypes by themselves is a faster and cheaper way. But it is no worth putting time into it. Your time is a limited resource. Use it wisely. 2fprototypes provides rapid prototyping service by CNC machining, 3D printing, vacuum casting. We believe we could help you get to the product success with speed. Now click to contact us, get your quote, and manufacture fast.
— by 2fprototypes. An OEM manufacturer for over 12 years.