Posts Tagged "design firm"

Prototypes: Do I really need one?

November 13, 2014
3D Innovations

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca

If you have recently been hit with an idea that you feel has commercial value and you want to take this idea one step further and build a business around it you might be asking yourself this crucial question…”Do I need a prototype?” Although you are not required to have a prototype to file a patent application, having a prototype simplifies this process and makes the process of going from an idea to a tangible business much easier.

3d designWhat is a prototype? A prototype is a depiction, example or even a finished and functioning product. You need one if you intend to test your idea, to improve your product and its component parts and ultimately to show or demonstrate it to investors, manufacturers or buyers for example.

Why should I prototype my idea? Prototyping gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your idea to potential buyers, get feedback from test groups and refine your product design. A prototype is almost seen as a necessity these days when you are trying to obtain funding from investors. A tangible object that investors can see function provides a better understanding of the product and its value.

It is also important to note that prototyping lets you finalize the best design possible before sending your product off to be manufactured. You will undoubtedly find flaws in your initial design and having a prototype lets you work out all of these kinks beforehand.

How much does a prototype cost? The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors, such as: size, components and complexity. To get a better idea of what your specific idea would cost to prototype we suggest that you find a firm that you are comfortable with, potentially has experience in the industry you would be going into and really understands your vision for the product to get a quote.

*If you would like to chat with us further about prototyping, the product development process or obtain a prototyping quote from us please contact us at

Additional information about prototyping can be found in the links below:


3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Protect Your Invention

October 15, 2014

Patenting your product is an important step towards success but not necessarily one of your first orders of business. “Only 2 to 3 percent of all patented products ever make it to market,” which means you are going to want to make sure your idea is a sound invention or viable business before the patent process begins.

Patents, Defined
What exactly is a patent? “A patent is a right granted by a government to an inventor. It gives the inventor the exclusive right, for a limited period, to stop others from making, using or selling the inventor’s product without the permission of the inventor. When a patent is granted, the invention becomes the property of the inventor. A patent–like any other form of property or business asset–can be bought, sold and licensed.”

In the Entrepreneur article, To Patent or Not to Patent, there is a helpful list of factors to consider before you delve into the patent application process:

  • Patent research. Make sure your idea isn’t infringing on someone else’s patent. To do that, you should conduct a “preliminary patent search.” This step will help ensure that your idea hasn’t already been patented. You can either hire an expert to help you or perform this step yourself.
  • Prototype. You should develop a basic prototype to determine your product’s functionality. This ensures you have a close-to-final design when you do file for a patent. (Changing materials or mechanics is difficult once your patent’s been filed.)
  • Market research. Define your market and determine how large it is. If it’s too small, your product may not be commercially viable.
  • Cost to manufacture. Determine how much it will cost to manufacture your product. If it costs more to make than the market is willing to pay, your invention is just a money pit.

Once you’ve determined there are no roadblocks to commercial success, it’s time to consider whether or not you need a patent. Just as many inventors patent their ideas and never take them to market, thousands of products in the market today aren’t patented–or even patentable–at all. In addition, your attorney may recommend filing for a copyright or trademark instead–an easier and less expensive process–if it makes legal sense.

Learn more about patents and the patent process in To Patent or Not to Patent.


3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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