What is Rapid Prototyping?

Rapid prototyping is the process that is used to generate an exact replica of your invention or concept prior to getting your idea manufactured or even designed. There are several reasons why rapid prototyping is beneficial but, the main reason is to save you money. Yes, that’s right. Rapid prototyping can save you money!

Although rapid prototyping does incur some costs, the amount of money that you would save in the long run will be more than worth it. Imagine going ahead with the manufacturing process without a prototype only to discover that when you receive your first shipment, there is something drastically wrong whether it is with the material or the design itself. The cost to change the tooling and to replace the rejected parts could prove to be very expensive and, more often than not, if you are working on a small budget, could be the halt of any progress. In fact, having to start over again could mean the end of the invention itself.

You can make a rapid prototype of almost anything out of any material to replicate your product as accurately as you need.  With all of the added finishes that can be applied such as paint, the final prototype can look extremely professional, which is an added benefit to get a better idea of how the finished product will look to gain investor and consumer interest.

There are two options when rapid prototyping your invention:

You can build your own prototype at home

If you choose to create your own rapid prototype, the best advice is to keep it as simple as possible. Before you begin, try to focus on what you want to get from the exercise. Typical home built prototypes are used mainly to test an idea and how it will be received in the market; this feedback is usually obtained from friends and family. Home built prototypes are not considered to be the most beneficial for marketing purposes; however, building a prototype yourself does not require professional designs as you can make up the part as you build. Once you decide that your invention requires further development, I strongly suggest having a design created and a professional rapid prototype made.

Employ a professional rapid prototype specialist

Why would you employ a professional rapid prototype specialist when you can build one at home for minimal cost? Hiring a rapid prototype specialist has a multitude of benefits, the primary being that your prototype will be professionally designed in terms of form, function and appearance. With a professionally designed and created prototype you now have something to show investors and potential wholesalers as well as further your market research. Inventors who have a prototype in hand are able to easily show potential investors and consumers that the original concept has now transformed from an idea to an actual product.  Because of this, many inventors choose to go through this stage to have their product finalized to so that they can more adequately show companies who might potentially like to license the idea themselves.

Rapid prototyping is perfect for market research, testing, marketing and to attract potential investors.

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