Prototype Building - 6 Simple Steps
If you are trying to make the idea you have a reality, you should invest in prototype building beforehand to test its programming. This is a very important step along the way, coming between the concept design stage and its production.
What is a Prototype?
A prototype is the first model for an idea and the basis on which the idea or future product will be founded, developed and copied. For example, in the world of software development this term refers to a working sample from which the product or its final version will come out.
Why Do You Need a Prototype?
Prototype building is an important part of the process because it helps to pinpoint the product. This gives designers the opportunity to explore new alternatives and experiment with different ways of how to build the product before it goes into mass production. Through the prototype process it is possible to understand what works and does not work in the product and make the necessary changes and improvements.
6 Steps for Building a Prototype
A. Identify Basic Market Requirements
Before you prepare the product prototype, you will need to decide why this product is even needed? This includes identifying exactly its essential characteristics and what problem your product is attempting to solve.
B. Draw a Draft Concept
Before you invest money into building a complete prototype, you should start by sketching out how your product will look in general terms. And it is true that there are digital software that you can use for the initial drawing such as Sketch.com but in our opinion it will be more efficient that you do this step with a page and a pencil. This way you can create multiple drawings more quickly.
C. Develop a Virtual Prototype
Once the sketch is ready, you should create a computer model of your idea. Proto.io as an example is one that you can use. The virtual design should be much more detailed than what you did on the page because this is the design you will eventually use to build the product prototype.
D. Make an Initial Handmade Prototype
The first prototype of your idea can be made by hand. Physical products can be made at home with alternative materials that mimic the final product. In that case, the first prototype does not have to be exact to the final version of the product. The first prototype does not have to be perfect – it just has to be worthy of presentation so that it proves the feasibility of the idea.
E. Use Initial Prototype to Identify and Correct Design Problems
Once the prototype is ready, you should use it to identify defects that you will need to repair in the product design. This step can cause you to create several different versions of the product.
F. Finish the Design and Create the Final Prototype
Finally, you should get a prototype that represents the final product that will be sold to customers. This is your final prototype, and you can use it to present your idea and product to potential investors.
What Materials Should the Prototype Be Made Of ?
The short answer is “it depends”. The material from which you will create the prototype of the product depends on what product you are developing. For example, if you are making a leather bag, you may want to make the prototype from cheaper materials like cotton or synthetic fibers.
Prototype building is a significant part of developing a new product and bringing it to market.. Without it, you will not know what to improve before you show it to investors or potential buyers. Investing in all the above steps in building a prototype will help you save a lot of headaches and unnecessary expenses.