The Importance of Having a Fully Functioning Prototype

The Importance of Having a Fully Functioning Prototype

Inventors and consumers each look at products in a different light and for good reason. Inventors are tasked with turning an idea into a tangible product, while consumers are desirous to buy something that is useful to them. For inventors, this ultimately means that your invention must function properly to be sold.  An important step to achieving this goal is to create a fully functional prototype. Here are a few other reasons it’s important to have a prototype when launching new products:

Assists with the Design

Have you ever tried to explain an idea to someone who just cannot understand what you’re talking about? That’s because you can easily visualize your own concept in your mind but the other person cannot. Drawing it out always helps, but most products are three-dimensional and a flat image can leave off important details. Providing a tangible prototype that someone can hold will help tremendously for visualizing what’s been rendered on a computer screen.

Identifies Flaws in the Design

Let’s say that “Company A” has an incredible idea that they are eager to sell immediately. They feel confident in their idea, so they decide to skip the prototype stage entirely. After the design is finished, they start to produce the product in bulk – spending their hard-won dollars from investors – and sell it immediately. One after another, reviews and return requests start flooding their inbox and voicemail. It turns out that if you hold the product upside down, a key piece falls out of place. If Company A had produced and market-tested some prototypes early on, this flaw could have been identified and prevented before their dollars were put into production.

Lowers Risk for Investors

Speaking of investors, think of the amount of risk that goes into funding an idea and not ever achieving an actual product. Facts, stats, and figures can only go so far when persuading someone to trust in you. Break out a fully functional prototype, however, and they will see that you have a legitimate shot at making money for everyone involved. Investors are focused on minimizing risk, and a prototype can provide evidence that your proof-of-concept is solid.

Makes Applying for a Patent Simpler

As discussed in one of Custom Technologies’ previous posts, The Purpose of Patents, a patent is “a grant of property right that is issued to an inventor for their unique invention.” As a part of the patent application, the inventor must fully ‘enable’ their invention.  This means that the inventor must be able to provide reasonable proof that their invention really works. A functioning prototype certainly satisfies this requirement.

Producing Prototypes with Custom Technologies

Now that you understand why having a fully functioning prototype is crucial for a product’s success, the next step is to find a partner in Custom Technologies. We first make sure that your idea is de-risked for proof of concept. Our expert team then rapid-prototypes your product in-house, minimizing cost and lead time.

We strive to ensure that our prototypes are appealing, durable, and fully functional for field testing. And we ALWAYS design things for manufacturability. Many prototyping companies don’t think ahead when it comes to manufacturability planning. Without this planning, there is often redesign needed to turn an early stage prototype into a part that can be affordably manufactured at higher volumes. Custom Technologies always puts manufacturability concerns at the forefront of our prototyping designs. When you’re ready to launch your prototype into full production, we’ll be ahead of the game. 

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