How Prototype Development Brings Your Ideas and Inventions to Life
by Todd McGonagle
Coming up with an original idea that has never before been brought to reality is invigorating and has the potential to be life-changing. Despite the excitement, inventing something from the bottom up can be a challenging process with many obstacles to overcome. One of the biggest challenges most inventors come across at some point during the creation process is developing a functional physical representation.
Prototype Development is a Necessary Phase in the Creation Process
Prototype development is usually a necessary step inventors take during the creation process. This phase generally takes place shortly after an idea is generated.
Prototype development can help you bring your invention to life and perfect it through educated trial and error. Development is an ongoing process consisting of prototype production, review and adjustment. Each development cycle will make your invention better and get it closer to being the optimal size, material, shape, etc. A machine shop can provide the tools needed to draft and produce your prototype, as well as the knowledge and talent needed to work with you to tweak and improve any imperfections.
The Benefits of Creating a Prototype
In addition to helping you overcome the challenge of creating a functional physical representation of your idea, there are many benefits prototype development offers.
#1: You Will Save Money
Through prototype production you will sift through development strategies that don’t work or make logical sense for your invention. This will save you money in the long run because you won’t make these costly errors during mass production.
Additionally, through testing multiple sizes and materials you can determine what the most cost-effective options for production are that allow you to retain appropriate quality standards.
#2: You will be Able to Understand and Solve Unexpected Issues
A prototype is necessary for you to uncover all potential technological issues that may exist in your product’s design. This is the purpose of having a development cycle, because in addition to issues that may exist in the original design, as you tweak and change things, more issues may arise.
If you bring your idea to a machine shop you will get to work with product design and development experts that can offer their opinions and expertise. Details you may overlook will be caught and fixed and new ideas or solutions may be developed. The diverse and specialized talent machine shops employ will help you improve and perfect your invention because they offer unique knowledge and experience.
#3: You Have a Physical Representation of Your Idea
There are many benefits to having a functional 3D model of your invention. Not only is it satisfying to see your idea come to life, but the trial and error phase will test different scales of size and materials so you can determine which combination is best for your invention. Inventions are never perfect the first time.
Prototype development of your invention will help you solidify all necessary measurement details so investors, stakeholders, patent pending offices, manufacturing companies, financial advisors and more can review and help you take it to the next phase.
Additionally, you can use your prototype to get feedback from your potential users. A physical product allows them to use and/or interact with your invention. They will be able to let you know what they like or don’t like and how they feel it could be improved. This insight is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having a true model of your invention – there is no better way to understand what your audience wants than by allowing them to truly use your product in the most realistic way.
Bring your vision, idea and invention to life by talking to an Ickler foreman about prototype development.