Designing and manufacturing new products is a lengthy process that is hard to adjust once the factory floor has been set up for operation. Innovative concepts and designs should be thoroughly tested and investigated to develop a foolproof plan for production, distribution, and financial support.
The best, most tried and true, method to give your product designs the push they need to become a reality is prototype development and research. Whether you equip yourself with the fabrication equipment to create prototypes on your own or you outsource to fabricators who specialize in prototype designs, utilizing prototype designs is a must for manufacturers.
1- Quick Design Tests and Adjustments
New products don’t often work perfectly according to the initial design. The ability to fabricate parts for replacement on the fly allows for adjustments to the product that increase functionality and durability. Modern design is done in a digital environment and real-world stress testing can help to find faults that were not accounted for.
The physical form of the object can also help developers to further explore improvements of their designs in the form of product quality assurance feedback and alpha testing. The ability to quickly make improvements to a design and fabricate prototypes speeds up the iterations required to create a solid functional product.
2- Manufacturing Needs Assessment
Once the prototype has helped to figure out the best version and form a product should be made in, the developer can then use prototyping to evaluate what type of manufacturing needs have to be met. From production line equipment to the types of materials being handled, the process of manufacturing has to be dialed in completely to facilitate smooth operation.
A prototype perfected through use and testing may rely on a material that is only available in limited quantities and may even have trade restrictions that make it impossible to consistently secure. Different materials may need to be treated in special solutions or require specialized, expensive equipment to properly shape and form. Quickly assessing the viability of other materials can help developers to decide which materials are best and most cost-effective for their uses.
3- Working Prototypes to Foster Investment
Another vital aspect of prototyping is the access to a functional product to show potential investors. The funds needed to launch a new manufacturing outfit can seem astronomical to new developers. In order to secure the capital your operation needs, you will need to show potential investors your product’s value and prospects.
Utilizing prototypes, you can bring your product for presentation and demonstrate its capabilities and future deployment. Not only will you have a physical product and not just an idea to present but you will have gained the research and development knowledge required to make a business plan that will inspire capital investors to participate in the growth of your endeavor with their financial backing.
While there are many more reasons to prototype your designs, these three are easily the most important in the manufacturing and design process. Without proper development in a reasonable time with the speed brought by prototyping, developers and manufacturers are sure to find themselves having difficulty competing in the modern competitive market. Ensure the success of your designs by using the best method for product development available.