It starts with an idea.
The creation of a product comes from our desire to make a change in our world. Through time, ideas have taken shape in the form of rough drafts and prototypes. These first inceptions often go through different modifications before becoming a new opportunity in the form of a fully conceived product. The goal of the prototype is to bring a fresh, tangible perspective to the inventor holding the idea.
When rendering the first visual concepts of a prototype, you want to have both a compelling vision of the product and a cost-effective method to do so. A computer-generated 3D model can be very cost-effective, while also offering flexibility to modify the prototype. While not as visually impactful, a 2D image can offer a lot of perspectives that, for some products, is all that is necessary for the initial design. Many firms offer these rendering services, which can help streamline the prototype process. In addition to virtual models, the availability of 3D printing has changed the prototype possibilities. While this is less common, and typically not as cost-effective as the other options, printing a basic prototype allows you to bring the product into the physical world prior to the prototype.
After you have converted your concepts into a fully realized model, the prototyping process can begin. Having a solid prototype is critical, as it gives you a deeper understanding of making a cost-effective, streamlined, and optimized product. During this phase in your production, you want to evaluate how this not only can be efficient but also how you compare to other potential products in your market. A smart and resource considerate product can give you a considerable edge against competitive brands.
Where you receive your resources plays a large role in your success in creating a prototype. Outsourcing can be a great way to meet the industrial needs that your product demands. Though many companies prefer to go with local or domestic options, at times the availability of the equipment necessary to create the product fall short of the ideal. This can potentially bridge a large gap in meeting a larger production goal, and stay relevant to potential consumer needs.
Creating a prototype without the assistance of an additional party can be quite the task. If you do choose to bring in an outside collaborator, make sure that you have signed documentation of your arrangement. This should include protection of your intellectual property, delivery dates, patents, and any potential non-disclosure agreements. Make sure you have protected your idea prior to working with an outside entity. Trusting your partners is one thing, but verification is professionally required. This can be made much easier by enlisting a patent attorney, or an intellectual property lawyer. The aid of a patent attorney can range from advising you on regulations and avoiding potential legal implications, to ensuring there is also not a similar patent already available.