Prototyping – Its Importance to Engineers & Product Designers
Before launching new items, the prototyping phase during the design process uses 3D software and 3D printing service. It is vital to create its sample product and test the core functionality of its appearance and physical parts in a real-world environment. Learn more about prototyping and its importance to engineers and product designers through this guide.
What Are the Prototype Categories?
Prototypes can be divided into the following categories:
- Proof of concept or principle prototype: This prototype contains the key aspects of the product, but does not have all its specifications.
- Visual prototype: This prototype looks like the final product but does not function like one.
- User experience prototype: It has the functionality and appearance needed for user research.
- Working prototype: It offers all or almost all the functionalities of the final product.
- Functional prototype: This prototype works and looks like the given product.
Why Is Prototyping Important?
Before the launch, the product can undergo different prototyping stages until it reaches its final version. It allows engineers or product designers to make the necessary changes and improvements before making it available to the market. As a result, you will get a better idea of the production costs and adjust budgets accordingly throughout the entire process. Most importantly, a prototype can be used to determine if your product deserves to be patented.
What Is Patenting?
Designing and manufacturing a one-of-a-kind product may encourage other companies to start producing a remarkably similar product like yours. With patenting, you will be able to protect your product from being created, sold, or imported without your permission or used for inspiration. Considering it is advisable if your product is new or unique in the market.
A working prototype is a must to make the patenting process faster and more efficient. It lets you go over design aspects that may be patentable. On the other hand, it also prevents you from infringing on any copyrights and helps you avoid any potential costly lawsuits.
What Happens During the Testing and Evaluation Phase?
As an engineer or product designer, you spend lots of time, money, and energy turning your concepts into a cohesive product. No one wants to waste all efforts on launching a product that does not work, which is why rapid prototyping should be prioritised. This process lets you determine if the idea will work in the real world and determine which aspects have to be revised or discarded altogether.
During the testing and evaluation phase, rapid prototyping assesses the product before reaching full production. In other words, it reduces or eliminates the risk of shelling out money or producing thousands of units that turn out to be faulty or non-functional.
Your idea may seem feasible on paper, but it does not always work that way in the real world. Fortunately, ensuring you create a fully working product is possible by creating a prototype. This lets you bring your concept to life and determine how your target audience will use it.
If you need rapid prototyping services in the UK, turn to 3D Quick Printing. We turn your ideas into reality by addressing your prototyping needs and requirements. Send us your file today, and we will give you a 3D printing quote!