Frequently Asked Questions
How can prototyping help make my product a success?
There are several different approaches to prototyping and the decision of which one may be right for you will depend on the expectations or requirements from the prototype.
A prototype to be tested and discarded
A ‘throw away’ (or rapid) prototype may be an option, which provides the opportunity for ideas to be realised, discussed, and any alternative designs decided. This prototype can then be discarded.
A prototype to be adapted and modified until the end product is reached
Alternatively, a single prototype may be adapted and modified until the final outcome is achieved. This prototype often becomes the end product.
Either which way, there are many reasons why prototyping can prove to be an invaluable part of your project plan.
We have 10 good reasons, that in our experience, show how prototypes can make a big difference to the outcome of your project:
- Prototyping helps to ensure that the design is ‘right first time’, before entering into production. Having a real model helps realise, much more easily, any design faults and allows potential accuracies to be improved upon. Designs often appear to work in theory but until they become reality, it’s difficult to know for sure.
- Prototyping has practical merit; quite simply, it allows the functionality of the product to be checked to ensure it does what it is actually supposed to do.
- Prototyping can demonstrate the visual aspect of the product and can provide a high quality exhibition model if aesthetics are a primary concern.
- Prototyping gives the opportunity for vital production analysis. The design can then be refined further to make the production process more efficient.
- Prototyping is useful for market testing. A real part allows for constructive feedback from potential customers or investors before committing to huge financial outlay.
- Prototyping allows the opportunity for full product testing. Rigorous tests regarding the material and qualities of the part can be carried out, ie reactions to heat or chemicals. This can help address the best material to use and any potential functional problems early on.
- Prototyping adds value and credibility to your project. It always looks better to have a living part rather than just a drawing. It is far easier to work on improving a part that can be touched and seen, rather than just in the imagination. In the initial stages, a prototype gives proof that the concept works.
- Prototyping helps to make choices easier. Design or material options can be compared, tested, reviewed and decisions can then be based on facts rather than speculation.
- Prototyping helps realistic costs and timescales to be determined and therefore a potential budget for the project to be established.
- Prototyping can serve as a useful reference point in the development process. It provides the opportunity to take stock and reflect before moving forward.
For support and advice with your prototyping requirements, please get in touch. We will be happy to discuss your project with you.
Read more expert articles in our FAQ section where we discuss topics on materials, methods and products.
We work with you, taking your information, be it rough sketches, drawings or just ideas, and create designs in Solidworks (3D) suitable for su...
Prototyping & Low Volumes
Today prototyping typically means layer based or additive manufacture. Having pioneered both Stereolithography and Selective Laser Sintering i...
Tooling & Moulding
We manufacture compression and injection mould tooling, designed to match your quantities and timescales. Manufacturing in UK and in China, in...
Make use of our design for manufacture service. We give added value to your project by advancing your design data through technical analysis ...
The good news is for those of you wanting low volume production parts -quantity is no longer such a barrier to accessing the process you want....
Our consultancy services support you and your manufacturing requirements. We undertake: design work, utilising our experience to ensure eco...