You have been assigned to a new project team to design, develop, and release a new product. You and your colleagues sit down and start hammering out ideas about what the product should do, how it should be designed, and other such details.
Next, you open up your computer and launch a rapid prototyping software design app and start entering in the product specs you came up with to generate an electronic 3D model of the new product. Now what? This is where many design and product development teams can make the huge mistake of skipping using rapid prototyping to build a physical model of the product.
Let’s assume you skip utilizing rapid prototyping services and processes and jump ahead to promoting the product instead. You start posting details about your new product on your website and social media. You are receiving numerous hits and positive responses from current and potential customers.
Yet, when it comes time to manufacture your new product, you discover there are several design flaws. You also discover some of the functionality that you have been promoting does not work how it should. You could go ahead and release the product as-is. However, if you do, once you release details about the final revised product, you know it will not sell as you anticipated.
On the other hand, you could delay the release of the product to fix the design flaws and functionality issues. Yet, by doing so, you could potentially have to refund any pre-orders you took from your customers who may not want to wait several months or longer while you fix the mistakes.
As you can see from this example, skipping rapid prototyping can quickly kill your great product ideas and concepts. By implementing rapid prototyping early on, after creating your product design on a computer, you gain several product development benefits including:
- Finding design flaws, errors, and other issues early in development. As we all know, it is more costly to try to fix these types of things once a product has gone into production.
- Transforms your ideas and 3D computer image into an actual product. Visualizing how the product should look and how it physically looks can be difficult to do without prototyping.
- Reduces waste of resources. By using prototyping, you avoid wasting tons of resources if you went into production and discovered all sorts of problems.
- Easy to make changes and fix problems. Prototyping makes it easy to adjust your design and fix any problems that arise.
- Opens the opportunity to provide your customers with customization options. Since it is possible to produce custom designs using prototyping, you can use the same methods to produce customized products for your customers.
- It allows you to put physical products in the hands of current and potential customers. It is one thing to show a 3D computer image and talk about how a product will benefit your current and potential customers. It is another thing to put a physical and working prototype into their hands so they can see these benefits for themselves.
- It allows you to gain valuable feedback from your target audience. Besides making it possible for people to try out the product, you can also solicit their feedback, which can be used to make product revisions before going into production.
Once you have created your prototype, don’t forget that you may need to refine, redesign, and make other changes until you get your product exactly how you want it. For each product revision, you will also want to take the time to create a prototype before finalizing the actual product design and moving into full-scale manufacturing.
To learn more about rapid prototyping, rapid prototyping services, or assistance with product design and engineering, please feel free to contact Laszeray Technology, LLC at 440-582-8430 today! We offer a wide range of services, including custom injection molding, CNC machining, investment casting, value-added value engineering, and more.