Top reasons to prototype before developing a new product

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The process of creating a unique product involves numerous steps to attain the level where it can be mass-produced for a specified audience. Each product is designed for a target group of people that may assist or solve their needs in a certain way. Conceptualizing a prototype for a project is a vital step that can help ensure that the product adequately solves the user’s problems. A prototype serves as a working model or sample that is created to test with potential end-users and investors.

In order to discern the exact needs of clients and target audience, a sample mock-up of the product needs to be produced, so your company may be able to collate feedback and improve on the product before mass producing it. Consulting with your peers, financiers and your specified audience in the early stages of development will help you make the necessary changes needed to perfect the final product.

Traditional prototyping procedures can entail the use of basic hand-drawn sketches, mock-ups made from clay, wood or wire fabrication. Modern methods use CNC parts or 3D printing that can allow a complete visualization and functionality of the product in the early stages of development. CNC or Computer Numerical Control is a manufacturing method wherein computers are used to control the machining tools used to create an array of prototype samples and end-use parts. It is simpler to collate feedback and make the appropriate changes needed in your product in the initial stages as compared to when the product is nearing completion. This saves time, effort and expense and can guide your product in the right direction.

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Below we list the top reasons why it is essential to create a prototype before developing a product.

Top reasons to prototype a new product first

It will Help you Visualize Your Work

If you are having difficulty in imagining what your end product may look like, creating a prototype will provide clarity in defining the main concept of your product. Having a physical prototype at hand will enable you to hone your design and improve on the points that need to be addressed to reach the final product.

Get the Clients you Need

A working prototype will make it easier to spot your target audience and gain the clients and investors you need to help attain your goals. Using a prototype will let you save time and expenses. Gathering new ideas from your clients and improving on the prototype before investing in a larger amount of money is a safer approach than going head-on into the final stages of production.

Prototypes Help you Receive Quicker Assessments

Embrace the feedback you receive from your customers, clients, and investors. This is essential for your product’s success. Having a prototype on hand will let you avail of quicker feedback, the comments you receive from others will guide you in making the best product on the market.

Resolve Issues Immediately

If you have a prototype you will be able to see the possible and immediate issues in your design. Being able to find problems earlier on in the process will improve your product and make it reach its full potential.  It is always advisable to find the persistent problems in your prototype, secure it and move on with your business plan, converting your creative idea into reality and eventually earning from it.

Compare and Contrast Product Concepts Efficiently

Through the use of a prototype, you can easily try different ideas and procedures to create the best version. Explore different materials, parts, components, and angles that can produce an end product that lives up to its full potential that can best meet the demands of your target audience.

Prototyping Promotes Creativity

A prototype has the capacity to let you have fun when developing your idea. Various designs can be tested, changed or different aspects can be explored. It can also let you apply the comments you receive from your partners, clients, and stakeholders to produce an end product that best represents your concept creatively.

Gives you an Idea of Time and Costs

Having a working prototype at hand early in the development stage will give you a better gauge on what kind of work is required and the time frame to work with. It also helps you canvass the overall costs and how much you will need to invest in your project. A prototype will enable you to understand and plan a schedule for your project to reach your end goal in a timely manner.

Patent your work

If you know you have a great idea on hand and have a prototype that is new and unique, it will be easier to file for a patent or trademark your work. This will ensure that you may have the option to claim it as the first person to invent or conceptualize the product. Check with existing patent and trademark laws in your country to be sure.

In conclusion, whatever product you have in mind to make, creating a prototype in the early stages of conceptualization will help you make the design transition and production phase a smoother and faster experience.  It is an effective tool in visualizing your idea and leads you to develop the best version of your product before making it available to a mass audience.

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