9 Steps to Build Your Product’s First Prototype- 2023 Guide

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If you have come up with a one-of-a-kind idea and have created a product that you know many people will use then you have to find a way to ensure that it reaches the right stores. However, you won’t be able to find an investor without a prototype. It is as simple as that. No one is going to give you money if you do not show them how that item works. Yes, they might listen to your idea, but that is all.

Building a prototype might seem very difficult and what’s more, scary. After all, you have spent so much time working on the design, what if you have made a wrong calculation or forgot about something? The only way to get these answers is to actually build a prototype, and in this article, we are going to tell you how.

Investigate similar items

Certainly, there are some products on the market that are similar to yours. Naturally, they are not the same because, well, then you can’t say you have invented something. Why should this be your first step? This is the best way to understand how the mechanism works and also to learn what materials are used.

There are two reasons why you shouldn’t copy the design. First of all, you might get sued and end up losing a lot of money. Secondly, it might not even work for your product. The whole point of this step is to get a general idea about what you can create.

Make a sketch

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Now that you know what you want to build, it is time to draw it. You have to sketch the overall appearance of the product first and then you have to work on special features or the mechanism, depending on what type of product you want to build.

This is the easiest way to understand how it is going to work and what it is going to look like. During this process, you might think of some new ideas or features that you can add. Also, via this sketch and detailed analysis, you will be able to see if there are any flaws and correct them on time, before spending both time and money.

Create computer-added design

This is something that you cannot do on your own, so you will have to hire a professional. You cannot skip this step if your product is something that you cannot build at home. This design is of utter importance because it is not only much more detailed than your original sketch, but it is also the design that you will send to the manufacturer.

In order to ensure that everything is fine, you shouldn’t hire just anyone for this job. Investigate a couple of possible partners, and go with the one that has the most experience and the best credentials.

Handmade version is next

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This is the step that will make everything real – you will get a chance to hold the item in your hands. Obviously, this is not possible if you are working on an app or some sort of software. The best part is that in most cases you can build it from any type of material you want.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, it should be quite simple. You need something to show to organizations like InventHelp who are going to review it and give you feedback. Plus, it will provide you with another opportunity to see if there are any changes that need to be made.

Find prototype maker

Once you check everything and ensure that everything is perfect with your item, it is time to find someone who is actually going to build it. There is one thing that you need to know – this can be quite expensive. Not only do you have to pay for materials, but also for the process of molding, assembly, and even labor.

Here you have two options. You can go with a professional designer who will probably charge you a significant amount of money. On the other hand, you can hire a student or someone who is at the beginning of their career.

Sign a non-disclosure

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The thought of someone stealing your design is probably your worst nightmare. Even if the prototype company, you have chosen, has a brilliant record and thousands of satisfied clients, you cannot ever be 100% certain. Because of this, you have to sign the NDA.

What’s more, you have to discuss the entire process in great detail with them. Talk about the techniques and materials, because you have to ensure that not only is the product of the highest quality possible but that it also looks professional. After all, these are the two features that are going to sell it to investors.

Think about 3D printing

This isn’t something that you don’t have to do, but taking into consideration how popular 3D printing has become, you might want to consider it. Yes, it can be another high expense, but you might be able to find a company that offers free samples or even someone who has this printer at home.

Find the investor

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Finding someone who is going to give you money to manufacture and then sell the product is one of the toughest tasks. First of all, you have to make a great presentation and give more than enough reason why someone should invest in that item. You have to know that chances of people passing on are great. Not everyone is going to be as enthusiastic about it as you are.

You can start with your friends and family who are most likely to support you, and then move on the online funding and contacting major corporations. This entire process can take a lot of time, so you have to be patient.

Start selling it

This is it, the final step. Advertise your product online via a website or social media accounts. Fill out your customers’ orders and send them the item. However, before you begin, you should also consider the shipping and packing costs. You are almost certainly still on a budget so you have to come up with the plan in order to be able to build and sell as many products as you possibly can.