Why Prototype Your Invention? 10 Reasons to Build Your Idea
Prototyping is an important aspect of any invention. It is a crucial element necessary for the success of any business model. For the new product development process to be complete, you have to create a prototype.
So, what is a prototype?
A prototype is simply a three-dimensional version of your idea, with which you can identify weaknesses in your design and improve them if necessary. According to Business Queensland, it is one of the most rewarding phases of new product development. In this stage of new product development, you get to bring your product to life for the first time and test it.
So, why prototype your invention? Is prototyping important for your invention? Or Do you want to know how to build a prototype for your idea? Here, we will discuss the importance of prototyping your idea and how you can turn your idea into a prototype.
So, Why Prototype Your Idea?
There are many reasons why it is important to prototype your idea, and the chief among them is testing to see how feasible your idea is. It also allows you the freedom to modify your idea and start afresh.
Irrespective of the complexity of a prototype, its main function is to give you the first look at how well your idea holds up.
Aside from the information above, here are other reasons why you should prototype your invention and idea before developing it.
10 Reasons to Prototype Your Idea Before Developing It
1. Let Potential Investors Know About Your Idea
Funds are important for any project, and investors play a significant role in generating funds. This simply means you need to find investors that would fund your idea from start to finish.
True, you can win over investors with a beautiful idea, but that is often not. Most investors would only take you seriously if you could validate your ideas.
A prototype invention is the best way to validate your idea. It would be easier to sell your idea to investors if they could see what you are selling. Also, as seen on Marketing Donut, a well-made prototype would attract potential investors to you, reducing the time spent searching for them.
2. Gives Room For Improvement
When breaking into a new market, your plan is often to give your consumers a product they cannot turn down. One of the best ways to achieve this is by developing a prototype and having your team improve on the idea.
It is important to note that this improvement would not occur without a visible prototype unless you employ a team of mind readers. But with a prototype, you get the chance to innovate your ideas continuously through brainstorming and visual checks until you achieve perfection.
3. Makes Project Planning Process Easier
Before beginning your project, you must plan. The popular saying, “fail to plan, plan to fail,” is fully effective here. Project development is a creative process, but it is also a business endeavor. If you have no business plan in place, there is no need to go ahead with creating the product, as it would fail.
So, what do you need to plan for? Project development includes considering the resources needed for its completion and budgeting them appropriately. Planning here also involves setting realistic deadlines so there is no delay in product launch.
How else would you set realistic deadlines without a prototype? A prototype helps you know what to expect when launching full product development. It also lets you know how scalable the project is and if you would need to outsource it.
4. Saves cost
A Prototype is an idea in its raw form, and here you can identify and fix errors before the full product launch. According to the institution of Mechanical Engineers, fixing errors and bugs in the prototype stage helps prevent a full-scale fix in the future, which helps save time and resources.
Prototyping rids the product defects before they mature into something more complex.
5. Helps You Solve Problems In Less Time
Prototypes help you fix flaws in your design idea before you commence product development. A prototype makes obvious the potential challenges your project could face. Also, since product development is a repetitive process geared towards perfection, your product gets better with each development.
This process eliminates challenges that you would experience if you boycott the prototyping stage of product development.
6. Helps You Build A Connection With The Target Audience
Every product has a target audience in mind. If you don’t have one, the product development process is pointless. What use is it to develop a product if there would be no beneficiaries or develop a product you cannot market effectively to your target audience?
To build a product that would sell, you have to know what your target audience wants. One of the best ways to achieve this is by making them partners in the process of product development. As end-users, they know what they want from your products and give you valuable feedback that would put you on the path to product perfection. This is one of the reasons why developing a prototype is important because, without one, your target audience would have nothing to review.
7. You Get To Market Your Idea
A solid prototype gives your target audience a glimpse of what to expect at the end of product development. With a good prototype, you can engage your target audience, creating a sense of anticipation among them. This would help boost sales greatly when you finally launch your product.
8. Improves Teamwork And Collaboration
To launch your project successfully, you would need a team. To get your project over the line, your team has to comprise the right people who are as passionate about the project as you. When you develop a prototype, you give your team something to work off.
With your prototype, your team of like-minded individuals would brainstorm and look for ways to improve it. This helps to build teamwork, coordination, and discussion. It also gives your team members a sense of belonging when the final product hits the market.
9. Improves Project Value
A prototype helps validate your idea before investors, teammates, and end-users. This validation helps increase the value of your project. It also improves your brand’s image pending official launch, especially if the prototype captures the attention of your target audience.
10. Helps Streamline Your Vision
Without a prototype, it is easy to lose direction and pursue other ambitions. However, a prototype helps you streamline your vision for the project. It acts as a roadmap for everybody involved in the project to follow, ensuring your product gets fit for the market as soon as possible.
How to Turn An Idea Into A Prototype
Turning an idea into a prototype should not be a difficult process. Here we will discuss 4 steps on how to make a prototype of your invention.
1. Sketching Out Your Idea
A sketch is the best way to put your thoughts onto paper. This sketch should describe your product’s appearance and how it would work. A sketch gives you the idea to prototype and develop.
This step helps you make your ideas better while allowing you also to communicate your idea to other interested parties.
2. Do You Patent or Not?
Inventors often want to patent any idea they feel would be successful, but this approach is often not ideal. Besides, not every idea that sounds great works in real life.
However, it is advisable to channel funds marked for patenting to prototyping a new invention design that works. According to Investopedia, while developing a working prototype, you can decide to get a provisional patent which gives you rights over the idea for 12 months. When you are certain your idea works, you can apply for a full non-provisional patent.
3. Use The Right Designers Or Engineers
The product designer turns your sketch into a 3D design concept. This 3D design concept, also called a virtual prototype, shows you exactly how your product would appear.
After rendering your sketch, the designer hands it over to the engineers. These engineers would convert the rendered sketch into 3D CAD files. Afterward, the manufacturers would then use this sketch to produce your prototype and products.
Selecting the right design or product development company for your product is the first step to cost-effective manufacturing products. Always go for designers with knowledge in manufacturing, as they would help you develop a virtual prototype with minimal cost. There are some differences in design methods, mainly creating a Design For Manufacturability (DFM).
4. Using A Reputable Prototyping Company
There are different prototyping companies, ranging from 3D printing shops, manufacturers, machine shops, and prototyping companies. Knowing what each type of prototyping company does is the first step in selecting the right one for your needs. 3D Innovations has helped many companies and inventors launch new products. With experience in 3D Design, prototyping, and manufacturing, we are able to support all aspects of your project from start to finish. Contact us today to see how we can bring your idea to life.
There are many reasons why your invention requires a prototype, from improving pre-sell to attracting investors and generating feedback. Irrespective of your reasons for wanting a prototype, it is important you remember that prototyping helps save time while cutting down the cost of production.
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