Homepage Forum Industrial Design, Engineering & 3D Modeling How do I get a prototype of my new invention idea?

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0 replies, 1 voice Last updated by  Shelly Scott 1 year, 4 months ago
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    Shelly Scott
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    A helpful Q&A on how to bring your product to market:

    QUESTION:
    How do I get a prototype of my idea?

    ANSWER:
    Getting a prototype made can be a relatively simple process or a very complex one depending on the stage of development you are in and the materials your product requires. Below are some guidelines to follow when seeking a prototype.

    QUESTION:
    Do you mean a Prototype or Production Sample?

    ANSWER:
    A prototype is a device meant to prove that a given design or theory is valid. Usually a prototype doesn’t need to be polished or made of the correct materials in order to prove that the design will work. Many times when inventors are seeking the development of a prototype they are really looking for something more along the lines of a Production Sample. A production sample is something you would expect to see coming out of a factory or what shows up on store shelves. Typically there is a major cost difference between the two and many times companies only need to see a prototype in order to buy into the idea.

    QUESTION:
    Do you have CAD files or Design specifications?

    ANSWER:
    If you product is made out of hard materials (plastics or metals) you will need some form of CAD files in order to have quality parts produced. CAD files are computer models of the parts that contain dimensions, material requirements and tolerance information necessary for rapid prototype machines or fabricators to build from. If you have a soft good (made out of fabric) then you would need some drawings showing the device from multiple angles or a pattern for a seamstress to work from.

    QUESTION:
    Do you really need a physical prototype?

    ANSWER:
    If your idea is complex, includes electronics or has unique materials to it, a prototype can be very expensive. Before you go investing the money in a prototype first determine if it is absolutely necessary. I typically recommend inventors take the development process in stages with the prototype being an as needed stage. If you can get away with a virtual prototype and a good sales pitch you have just saved yourself a great deal of money. When selecting a company for a virtual prototype make sure they have designers or engineers working on the idea. Otherwise you may just end up with a pretty picture that can’t be built.

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