Posts Tagged "functional prototype"

The Benefits of a Functional Prototype

September 6, 2016
3D Innovations

Rushing through the product development phase can be tempting because all hardware startups want to launch as soon as possible, however one step you can’t afford to skip is that of building a functional prototype. Building a prototype does take time, but in the end, the amount of time and money it will save you makes up for the extra couple weeks. If you find yourself on the fence about creating a prototype, here are a few facts to consider.

Why prototype my idea?

industrial_design-handleRefine your design. While a product idea might look great on paper or when speaking about it, the actual design might need to be reworked. Your design needs to be functional and manufacturable, and a prototype can make sure that both of these requirements are met. There is no better time to work out the “bugs” than at this stage, when changes are still inexpensive and easily made.

Gather market feedback. Get your functional prototype into the hands of your target market. Asking customers to imagine a product can be quite a challenge and the feedback you receive will not be all that beneficial. On the other hand, presenting this group with a prototype lets them touch your idea and get a real feel for the product and its functionality. With accurate market feedback you will be in a better position when it comes to finalizing the design and launching your product.

Rally financial support. Are you planning on reaching out to VCs or crowdfunding your product? If so, a functional prototype is a must. VCs want to see that you can deliver an actual product and are ready to move into manufacturing. Crowdfunding campaigns are much more successful when they can demonstrate functionality with a prototype.

File a patent. Obtaining a patent is a way to secure your intellectual property and in doing so there are many documents that need to be filed. Having a prototype will make technical drawings easier and you will be better able to describe your product in the USPTO application.

While there are many more reasons to build a prototype, these four stand out because of the real financial impact they have on your startup. When it comes time to launch your product, you want to be confident and prepared for what lies ahead.

Ready to take the leap into prototype development? We can help! Contact us at info@3d-innovations.com to get started.

_______

3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

Prototyping: Unleash Your Creativity

March 10, 2016
3D Innovations

prototypingPrototyping is one of the first stages of developing an idea and launching a startup. This is a chance for you to cultivate your idea while also engaging your creative side. We have seen many forms of initial idea formation and prototypes—everything from napkin sketches to prototypes configured from household items. While these will certainly not been your final functional or pre-production prototypes, engaging your creative side in this manner helps you clarify your idea, explain it to others, and bring it to life.

Things to consider when you are building an initial homemade prototype:

  • Experiment with materials. Different materials mean changes in weight and structure. Are you looking for light-weight materials or is weight not a big concern?
  • Test out its size. Is this going to be a hand held or free standing product? What do you envision as the optimal size? Remember that you don’t need exact measurements yet, just an estimate.
  • Narrow down the functional elements. What parts are functional? How does this functionality set it apart from the competition?
  • Present it to friends and family. Use your handmade prototype to share with friends and family. Explain your idea and ask for their feedback. This early customer feedback can help your clarify and further develop your idea.

Making a prototype by hand is a great way to get started! Remember that there are no rules and no limits. Use this development stage as a way to experiment. Look around your house and see if you can find materials to put together your first prototype. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be ‘pretty’ and most certainly doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’. Once you are ready to get started on a functional prototype, send us an e-mail (info@3d-innovations.com) or give us a call (+1.808.722.8667).

_______

3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today