Getting a prototype made is the first leg of the journey in bringing any new design to life. Prototypes can help you test out your designs and iron out any flaws in them. It can also help in getting a patent on your product; it shows that your idea has been thoroughly thought out and tested.
Conceptualize Your Product
Drafting your ideas on paper can be a great aid in designing your project. Figuring out the general form, fit, and function of your product and writing it down can help hone in on what the critical aspects of your product are. The next step would be to draft some basic sketches. This will help in designing the engineer files, as it will serve as a basic foundation.
At this point you should be ready to have engineer drawings made. Depending on the complexity of the project, it may be necessary to have both 2D PDF drawings and 3D STEP files made. You should contact an engineer who will have access to the software necessary to create these files. 3D STEP files can help manufacturers pinpoint hard to see dimensions, and can help answer questions they may have before they come up.
Get a Prototype Made
Once you have engineer files drafted, you are ready to take them to prototype manufacturers to get them produced. Having a physical prototype produced will allow you to test it and identify anything wrong with the designs. If any major changes have to be made to the design, it’s best to have another prototype made to save money. It’s much cheaper to have a couple round of prototypes made than it is to be stuck with a bad shipment of parts due to a faulty design.
Find a manufacturer
The next step is to figure out what kind of manufacturer you are going to source from. For short run orders, it may be cheaper to order domestically. For higher volume orders, it can be very lucrative to look overseas. Lower labor and material costs make outsourcing an ideal choice for many different items.
Check out some of the blog posts below for more information.
- The Importance of Product Testing
- What is the Difference Between Manufacturer and Engineer Drawings?
- Breaking Down the Costs of Prototyping a Product
If you’re looking to engineer a design or get a prototype made, contact us here.
You can also contact us for any sourcing needs you may have.