Posted on: July 30, 2018, | By Candy, WayKen Marketing Manager
One of the most important initial steps in the fabrication process is coming up with a prototype which is appropriately outlined and a 3D version of your concept. Coming up with a prototype can also be one of the most amusing and beneficial steps you will ever take. This is because creating prototype grants you the chance to make the most out of your creativity, using the proficiency that galvanized the invention of your concept in the first place. And if you are developing your prototype at the comfort of your home or seeking the help of an engineer, machinist or seamstress, it is very breathtaking to see your concept converted into something substantial and real.
The design of your prototype will first depend on the idea you have in mind. After which, your budget and aims will determine the next steps. If you are capable, it is good to begin with a prototype that is handmade, despite how fundamental it will be. If it is perfect for your original presentation purposes, it is nearly as accurate as other expensive materials.Expert opinions or the services of experts like engineers and machinists are also essential when it comes to prototype production. The good thing is that there are apparatus and tools that can help you do it by yourself.
Developing and manufacturing a prototype
Whenever you have a concept for a new creation or new item, the essential thing you can try doing to see if it is functional is bring it to a fully recognized, 3D life. In its elementary form, this is how a prototype should be: a physical depiction of a concept, creation or product. There are stages involved when it comes to prototype development that, if not complicated, they can be time-consuming. However, you should put in mind that the final result is an actual realization of your invention, so the procedure is worth every effort needed. The following are steps involved in the development and manufacturing of a prototype.
Drawing your idea- Once you come up with a concept, it is important to bring it on paper or other virtual platforms and give people a rough idea of what it resembles. Keep all your drawings or sketches at one place. If you are equipped with knowledge of the computer-aided design software, then you can come up with your drawing. Make sure all your drawings are dated because they can be essential when you want to declare patent ownership in future.
Create a non-functioning model- You can come up with a non-functioning model of your creation. There are several materials you can use like wood, foam, metal to come up with the three-dimensional non-operational version of your invention. Doing so will allow you to compare the form and size better than your sketch. Your model does not need to be perfect, but it should resemble your drawing in all aspects.
Set up a plan to develop a working model- You should set aside some time and think of ways you can bring your product to life. Make sure you put into consideration all the things that will be needed for it to be fully operational. From the size, dimensions of the materials that will be used in its production. Make sure no item material or item is left out. Once you are done, you can get quotes for prototype vendors and estimate the costs needed for the production of your item.
Outline the operational pieces of your product- One should understand better the essential requirements for their products to be fully functional. Will it require robotic or electronic devices to be operational? There are different places you can find these items that are essential in the development of your prototype.
Manufacturing a prototype
You can do it on your own or reach out to a prototype vendor depending on the functionality of your devices. The following are things you should put into consideration when working with a prototype expert.
Signing a nondisclosure agreement- Make sure the prototype vendor or dealer you are working with signs a non-disclosure agreement. This will help prevent your idea from leaking out to the public. You can seek the services of an attorney who will help draft a contract protecting you and your concept from any form of foul play.
Explain your idea exhaustively- For you to get the proper outcome, you should explain your plan carefully to those helping you come up with something out of your prototype. This will also help come up with the correct quote for the whole production process.
Review the quote- You should review the quote carefully and understand all the quoted items better. Look at all the listed materials and the estimated time for the production process. Any corrections that should be made must also be included in the costs. Make sure you plan your budget early if you want to work with the best engineers or designers.
Advantages of a prototype
There are a couple of benefits that come with the development of a prototype. They include:
Functionality test-You will get the chance to test and make several changes to your idea during prototype production. Your idea may work best in theory, but you may encounter several imperfections when you start creating it physically. Developing a prototype will give you the chance to understand the operational features of your idea.
Improves product description- You're able to describe your product efficiently once you have developed it. Everybody in your team can outline the essence of your product and its usefulness.
You will get proper recognition- People will take you seriously when they read the clear intentions you have with your product. With a prototype, professionals and other experts will give you the much-needed attention compared to when you only come with a rough idea in mind. You will separate yourself from other people who are not seen as serious.
Gives room for other tests- One can also test other materials during the prototype development process. You can check materials like plastic or even metal and get to find out which one performs better out of them all. This will help you pick one that is good and cost-effective.