Budgeting for Prototype Development
A vital stage in the development of many new products, prototyping enables companies to ascertain how a concept translates into reality, providing a convenient means of verifying product functionality and experimenting with design before entering the manufacturing stage. Perhaps the most common question encountered by those in the prototyping business is, “How much should we budget for the prototype development of our product?” The truth of the matter is that the price of a prototype will vary based on factors such as design costs, the complexity and size of the product, the materials used, production time, services required, and the number of revisions produced.
According to Inc. magazine, the standard cost for prototyping ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the factors outlined above. This being the case, one would be wise to consider the variety of factors—including potential redesigns—that will go into developing their new product, and to speak with a prototyping specialist at PRG to obtain an estimate. In general, one should be prepared to invest $20,000 in the prototyping process. This is especially true for those who intend to go from concept sketch to final product, as well as for those whose product is comprised of multiple functional parts.
Prototyping offers multiple advantages in the short- and long-term. The experienced team at PRG is comprised of engineering specialists who possess expertise in multiple industries, from mechanical to electronics, manufacturing to plastics. Along with our talented industrial designers, they are eager to work with inventors and entrepreneurs to bring their product concepts to life. Moreover, our 12,000 square foot facility houses a broad spectrum of innovative prototyping equipment. This means that we can quickly produce prototype models of virtually any product, enabling you to inspect and, if necessary, rethink your design until perfection is achieved.
While prototyping is thus an invaluable investment, we understand that it can be challenging to fund the process if you’re still in the early stages of getting your business up and running. Fortunately, there are many traditional and not-so-traditional means of acquiring the funds you need. Family, friends, and business associates are often open to investing in the first rounds of development. Going forward from there, a venture capitalist can be an excellent resource for small businesses with high growth potential. Strategic investors and individual angel investors are likewise viable options, both financially and in terms of providing you with valuable insights about and connections with the larger business world. And if you prefer the DIY route to raising capital, crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter.com or Indiegogo.com have helped thousands of individuals and small businesses obtain funds from the general public to aid in product development.
Once you are in a position to invest in prototyping, PRG can provide an itemized, comprehensive budget that details the costs of design, materials, prototyping services (including revisions), project time, and any other project specifics. In the process of developing your budget, we will work with you to ensure that your total cost is reasonable in view of the function and potential impact of your project. The prototyping itself is carried out by a team of artists and prototyping professionals whose expertise is best suited to your particular product. A general overview of the process goes something like this:
- Concept Sketch or Art
- Specifications used as starting point
- Consumer user experience taken into consideration
- Concept Design
- Virtual Prototyping
- Consulting with engineers
- Materials Sourcing
- Conceptual Prototyping (“Mock-Up” Prototyping)
- Form, Fit, Function Prototype (F3)
- Final revisions
After any final revisions have been made, we produce a final working prototype, and you are ready to move on to the manufacturing stage. And while PRG is not a manufacturer, we can help you package together all of your product parts, materials, drawings, 3D renderings, and project files (the CAD model and STL) and locate a manufacturer that can take it from there.
A firm dedicated to the design and development of new products, PRG Prototyping specializes in concept design engineering, design for manufacturability, prototype development, production, and marketing presentations. If you would like to learn more about how our experienced, professional team can help transform your concept into a reality, contact us today. We are also able to provide information on obtaining patent protection and intellectual property services.