An increasing number of entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses are taking advantage of the growing U.S. economy—and the resulting rise of consumer spending rates—by bringing new products to the market. As a consequence, today the prototype design and development industry is thriving to an unprecedented degree. For this reason, we have put together a list of the 10 most important things you should know about prototype design.
While most people equate prototype production with the popular process of rapid prototyping (which has become synonymous with 3D printing), most prototyping companies, including PRG, offer a broad spectrum of prototype development services. In recent years, prototyping has diversified to encompass an array of processes and materials such as wood, metal, textiles, and even electronics. What this means is that prototyping isn’t limited to plastics; whatever material your product concept requires, a company like PRG can make it a reality.
One of the tasks undertaken by prototyping companies is product consulting, which is designed to help ensure the quality of your product. Product consulting involves a broad spectrum of considerations, from materials selection to identifying the right manufacturing process to marketing. The end goal of product consulting is to produce the best possible iteration of a product to help entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses successfully introduce their new product to the market.
Virtual prototyping offers a means of transforming your product sketch into a 3D model. In turn, this enables you to inspect and experiment with each and every detail of your product— including size, shape, form, function, and color—to achieve perfection.
While prototyping companies aren’t in the manufacturing business, most can produce a small number of your product. Depending on the size, materials, complexity, and other features of your product, it may be possible to manufacture 100-500 units through a prototyping company.
A prototype isn’t complete until it has undergone finishing services, which encompass final details such as trimming, sanding, and painting an object to render it virtually identical to the final product. There is no substitute for a great finishing job when it comes to bringing your product to life.
Some prototyping companies, including PRG, are also able to develop packaging solutions for your new product. In addition to designing blister pack and clamshell packaging, packaging prototyping can also include creating a logo design and determining UPC code placement. This service allows you to see exactly how your product will look on a retail shelf and make alterations to yield a more attractive package prior to manufacturing.
A great way to identify a reputable prototyping company is to consult an association or organization. PRG Prototyping, for example, is a Premium Pro Certified Member of the United Inventors Association, and is also listed with the Better Business Bureau. We can also be found in Inventors Digest, which offers a variety of resources for inventors looking to make their product idea a reality.
Depending on the product, prototyping can be an incredibly time-efficient process. At PRG, the standard timeframe for full engineering and functional prototyping is around 4-12 weeks.
Patent research is a vital step when introducing a new product to the consumer market. PRG, Inc. can help you navigate this process by researching and locating any existing United States Patent and Trademark Office patents that bear similarities to your product.
PRG Prototyping is a respected company specializing in the design and building of new products. We focus on concept design engineering, design for manufacturability, prototype development, production, and marketing presentations, and can also answer your questions about patent protection and intellectual property services.