Do you know that more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched every year, and 95% of them fail? To prevent your products from being among those that fail, you should create a product prototype.
A product prototype is a functional version of a product, not a final design, used to test a product’s performance. Its also used to solicit feedback from customers. Investors can also use the prototype to familiarize themselves with the product before its official introduction.
In addition, understanding how to create a prototype helps you develop a more effective final version of the product.
Prototypes can take any shape. They can be simple wireframes or high-fidelity versions of a final product. However, when creating a product prototype, you must ensure the prototype meets the intended goal.
Worry no more if you plan on creating a product prototype and don’t know where to start. In this article, we cover the steps of creating a prototype for your product
Start Crafting Your Ideas
The most challenging face of a product design is coming up with a product idea. When coming up with a product idea, the first thing you need to determine is what the ideal design should be. You must clearly understand what the product will feel and look like.
When creating a product prototype, you must pay attention to design trends, usability, budget, and competition. But, above all, you must ensure the new prototype meets the customer’s needs.
To develop the right ideas for your product prototype, you must conduct thorough research. The research’s aim is to help you understand the product’s value, level of competition, and cost.
After the research, have a brainstorming session with your colleagues. The brainstorming could shed more insights into the designing and marketing of your prototype.
The last stage of developing prototype ideas should be assessing how your new product will benefit the customers.
Create a Rough Representation of Your Idea
After finalizing your idea on an ideal prototype, the next step should be creating a rough representation of the idea.
Having a product prototype design in your mind is not good enough. You must create a rough representation of the idea on a piece of paper or computer software.
Today creating a virtual replica of your product has been made easy by software technologies such as computer-aided design (CAD). These technologies allow you to create a 3D representation of your expected product. In addition, you can also test the product’s performance by doing a virtual simulation provided by the software.
Creating a rough representation of your product helps save time during business management. It also creates the impression that you are serious about your product design.
Create a Physical Prototype
This is the stage where the actual development of your product prototype begins.
During this stage, you should focus on rendering the physical representation of your prototype appropriately. The prototype should perfectly represent the final version of your product.
When creating a physical prototype, there are two approaches you can use. These are 3D printing and CNC printing.
3D printing has greatly improved and impacted the prototyping industry. With 3D printers, you only need to add inputs through rapid prototyping to produce mass copies of your product representation. However, 3D is suitable if you only require visual representations.
When you decide to use 3D printing, there are some merits and demerits you may experience. The main merits of this method are mass production and cost-effectiveness. The main demerits of 3D prints are being fragile and suitable for visual representation only.
If you want to create 3D prints and don’t have the time and resources, you can contact 3DClever.
If your aim is to create a new perfect replica for your product, you should consider CNC prototyping.
CNC machines allow you to create a perfect representation of the final version of the product. You can also use the machines to showcase a working demo to your customers or potential investors.
However, CNC prototyping is effective only when creating products such as medical devices and electronic gadgets. The main merit of CNC prints is that they can be used as final products and are of better quality than 3D prints.
On the contrary, if you opt for CNC prototyping, you must be ready to incur huge purchase and installation costs. In addition, you must also have the required expertise to operate the CNC machines.
Refine the Prototype to Perfection
This is the most time-consuming and attention-demanding stage of all. This is because you might be forced to take the product through a series of redesigns until you achieve the expected outcome.
Some of the reasons you must redesign your product include:
- Handle all the structural and functional issues the prototype has
- Adjust the appearance and functioning of the product to meet the market trend needs
- Enhance the performance of the product
- Solve ergonomic issues
However, when redesigning your prototype, there are things you must do:
Ensure you are up to date with current trends involving the product’s design. This will ensure you come up with a competitive product.
Be ready to carry out multiple redesigns. This means you must set aside enough time and budget required for the redesigns.
Keep updating your prototype. This is essential if it will take a long time before launching the final version of your product.
After successfully creating a product prototype, you must protect it from intellectual property theft. You can do so by filling a patent for the product idea and design. If third parties are involved, request them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Discover How to Create a Prototype for Your Product Today
A product prototype helps you determine the fit and durability of your product. It also helps you get early feedback about the product from clients and investors. It’s only by understanding how to create a prototype that you can achieve the expected results.
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