In the initial stages of product development, having a prototype is crucial. Creating a 3-D sample of the actual product helps you test its functionality and performance. You can make prototypes using various locally sourced materials by using a 3-D printer or outsourcing services from a rapid manufacturing factory. Below are the main steps to follow when creating a prototype for your new product.
The first step is to ensure you have a detailed diagram that outlines all the concepts and vision of the product you want to create. The sketch acts as a visual aid of how the prototype should look from dimensions, materials, and functionality. A pen and a pencil drawing are acceptable, but drawing software produces refined sketches. At this stage, you can create as many illustrations as you wish until you get your ideal product.
The sketch is enough, but creating a 3-D model of the product will be more visual for you and your partners. A 3-D model will help you visualize and show the product’s size, shape, and design. The optional step might be expensive for start-ups and small companies.
At this stage is where you build the product idea. A simple 3-D printout acts as a proof of concept for your prototype. If the product you are making has some mechanical or electronic functionality, it will require you to create a more refined proof of concept. Proof of concept does not have to look exactly like the final product. You can even use commonly used household products for the model.
The 3-D model shows how the product will look, while the proof of concept shows the product’s performance and functionality. This stage is where the 3-D Model concept and the proof of concept get combined to create the prototype. The first one should be detailed, ensuring to include all features and functions of the product using the help of a designer.
The last step is to create a more refined prototype to get a production-ready design. Carefully access the product to determine its durability and aesthetics. Modify as much as possible but do not compromise on quality.
Conduct a feasibility test and cost analysis to determine its viability. If the product is viable, you can engage a manufacturer like PCB solutions for mass production and distribute your final product to your target market.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2