Prototyping is a vital part of the product development process but a lot of businesses get it wrong. Your prototype is your opportunity to test the functionality and the core concept of the product and then iron out any problems. If you get this stage of the process wrong, you could end up mass-producing a product that has some fundamental problems.
When creating a prototype, there are a few key elements you need to get right. Here’s everything that a good product prototype needs.
The whole point of a prototype is to test the functionality of the product. You can get professional model makers to create your prototype but if it doesn’t work, what’s the point? This stage of the process is about finding out whether or not your product actually works and then working out how to make improvements. When showing it to focus groups for feedback, they need to get a sense of what the product does and how it works. So, make sure that your prototype has the full functionality of the end product. Consider making multiple versions with different features that you are thinking about including too, so you can see which ones people are most impressed by.
Although functionality is important, the aesthetics of a product make a big difference too. People like sleek and stylish products that catch their eye, and it can be a big part of the reason that they buy the product. This is why it’s important to make sure your prototype has some nice aesthetics too, even though you’re not going for full production just yet. The finish of the model will give people an idea of what your final product will look like.
Proof Of Manufacturing Processes
The prototype is also an opportunity to make sure that you can actually manufacture your product easily. So, look at different manufacturing processes and get in touch with a plastic machining company to discuss how they can manufacture the parts. Consider different materials too and experiment with a wide range of manufacturing options to find the most efficient way to build your product to a high standard. If you find at this stage that your product is incredibly difficult to make, you need to go back to the drawing board and rethink the design.
You also need to factor in the cost of making your prototype as well as the final product. How much will it cost you to build a fully functional version of your product? Even if you’re only creating a prototype, you might need some unique equipment and new parts that will push up the price. You also need to consider how much time it will take and whether or not this is going to be efficient for manufacturing the full products on a large scale. If the costs start to spiral out of control, you’ll never make a profit on the product, so you need to go back to the early stages of the product design process and adjust the design.
If your product prototype doesn’t demonstrate all of these things, you are not ready to move on to the next stage of the development process.