Prototype Design - How to Make a Product Prototype

August 03, 2021

Designing products is one of the best and most common ways for companies to earn their revenue. However, before a final product can be sold online or on store shelves, it should generally be prototyped. Many new products will fail, and prototyping can help give a company more confidence in their product and a better understanding of how it works.


Whether you decide to laser cut brass for your product, or make it out of plastic, the first step is a quality prototype. This prototype can help uncover any potential issues with the product, or help companies decide which direction to go in regards to the final product.

While the idea of a prototype is simple, creating one may not be. With that in mind, this article is going to aim to help you decide how to make a product prototype for your next big idea.

Start With a Concept and Virtual Prototype


The first thing to do is to come up with a concept. You and your team need to come together and decide the product you want to create. You should think about how it will look, how it will be used and what exactly it will be used for. It should obviously be something that people will be interested in and want to use. 

If you spend a ton of time building and designing a product that no one wants or will use, it can be a very expensive and time-consuming mistake. You may love an idea, but be sure to look elsewhere to make sure you aren’t simply biased.

Once you have the idea and believe it is worth your while, use a software or program to create a virtual prototype. It is much easier to make changes to a file than it is to completely remake a new physical prototype. So don’t feel the need to rush to that stage. Instead, take your time and make sure to address all you can before manufacturing.

Protect Your Design

As soon as you have the idea and think it has legs, it is important to protect your design. This can be done through a patent. This will give you exclusive rights to the process and/or design of your product for a certain period of time. You can feel confident that people cannot steal your idea. 

Now, similar products can be made, so it is a good idea to work with an experienced professional or lawyer when it comes to filing patents to ensure you are as covered as you need to be. There are also several different kinds of patents, and these professionals can ensure you get the right one for your needs.

If you don’t get a patent or protect your product in another way, there is nothing stopping someone from simply stealing your idea and making it themselves. They could even patent it themselves and stop you from ever being able to create it at all. Even if you think a friend, investor or business partner wouldn’t dare do this, it is a good idea to protect yourself just in case.

Find the Right Manufacturer 

Once your idea is protected, and the concept/design is ready, you can have it manufactured. This will let you actually hold the prototype, and potentially show it to investors or stockholders. An important part of this process is choosing the right manufacturer or partner to build this prototype.

You need to choose a provider that has experience and has proven results of delivering quality prototypes in the past. They should be able to provide proof, and show their expertise and understanding of your needs beforehand. They should have the latest equipment, and be able to complete your prototype within a time frame that is satisfactory for your needs.

Communicate Well

While some companies might be happy with their initial prototype and move forward with that design, this isn’t often the case. It can take numerous iterations before you are happy with how a prototype looks, feels or performs.

This process can be long and annoying at times, but can be made significantly better and easier with effective communication. You need to tell them what you want, and the things you want changed or dealt with from version to version.

If you are too general, miscommunication can occur that can lead to major delays or unnecessary costs. Be as clear as possible about your wants, and things will often go more smoothly. Also, ensure you are receiving quality communications back from the manufacturer, as well.

In conclusion, we hope that this article has been able to help you design and create a great prototype. It isn’t always easy, but prototyping is a great way to ensure your final product turns out the exact way you want it to.

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