Traditionally, products were developed using a standard process. This worked for quite something, until stakeholders were keen to find out ways using which their products would function without spending money on them in the first instance.
Prototyping is a commonly used method that is executed in the early stages of development. It is widely used for testing and evaluating ideas in the given phase. Prototype enhances your thinking capabilities and helps you make a product that is of much better quality. It would create a tangible product in the initial phase of development which would make suggesting implementations easy for the stakeholders. It is a tough job to convert ideas to actual end products. Prototyping the idea, followed by getting feedback and implementing the same are some of the skills that you being a product manufacturer should possess.
How to Prototype?
- In order to do prototype properly, it is important that you ask all the questions. You have a visualize an idea about a product and the prototype would be the perfect representation of the same to all the stakeholders. Generate as many prototypes as you can so as to build a product that comes with minimum error. So whenever you have any idea, try creating a prototype as you would never know which one might work out for you.
- While learning the art of rapid prototype, it is important that you minimize both cost and time. Going to the wrong direction, one would lose a lot of both. It is important to remember that prototypes does not give the right results at an instance. You would have to work to get it. Thus it becomes important that you understand the design and then think about production of prototypes so that you can get better results.
Rapid prototyping service costs much less compared to the props used in traditional prototyping. As in the latter, there are many additional costs associated with procurement of material, tool path programming, setup configuration and so on. But with the 3D printing facilities, a print request of the design is sent to the printer virtually where it interprets the CAD model data.
The next thing to keep in mind is that you would need to possess all the processes, tools and techniques required to create the prototype. There are basically 3 types of prototypes based on their completeness.
- Low fidelity prototype– This is the easiest prototype to make and hence requires very less time. This helps in creating rapid implementation of your product design ideas. This is generally used in the early stage of product designing where you would be able to find out the major issues with the solution and suggest the required changes easily. You can choose the resources for this depending on your aimed solutions.
- Medium fidelity prototype– Once the low fidelity prototype is completed, after many corrections and alterations that are done through testing, you can now focus on more fine details. This is where the medium fidelity prototype is used, where adding more details would make the prototype look closer to the final product. With the inclusion of finer details, much more time is required to execute this prototype.
- High fidelity prototype– This contains the finest details that are closest to the end product. In other words this is a replica of the final product. This takes much more time compared to the other two prototypes. This helps in analyzing the final solution and final corrections are made. After this, the product is finally launched that would go to the market.