Turning your ideas into a tangible reality often starts with a prototype, but sometimes it is difficult to know where to start or how to do it. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, inventor, or designer, learning how to get a prototype made is crucial for ensuring that your product will be on a good way to be successful in the future.
How do you get a prototype made?
There are some steps that need to be followed to get a prototype made. You need to define your idea, sketch your concept, validate it through a proof of concept, and then start working on prototyping and its corresponding iterations to make it better. For instance, this is how the process works when you hire a company that offers Custom hardware design & development:
This process could also work for developing IoT products, consumer electronics products, or solutions for other markets. Nowadays it is hard to think of new devices that don’t count on Internet of Things features (see advantages of IoT).
On the other hand, if you need a firmware development service, surely you won’t have the steps shown above, but the company will analyze deeply the product you have and the features you intend to add with the firmware; as well as the programming language you need, C, C++, MicroPython, among others.
To make a prototype of an invention, you should already have some ideas predefined in order to provide clear information to the prototyping company:
1. Define the idea you want to build
It’s essential to clearly define the purpose of your idea. Ask yourself: What problem does it solve? Who is your target audience? Understanding these aspects will guide the entire prototyping journey. Since you have to clearly explain what you want to achieve.
2. Sketch your concept
Another possible step is to begin with a simple sketch or drawing of your concept. This doesn’t require professional artistic skills; the goal is to visualize your idea on paper. Annotations can help convey specific features or functionalities.
You can enhance your idea by checking examples of the Internet of Things or devices that are already in the market. This will also help you identify unique selling points for your prototype.
3. Getting a prototype made with an engineering team
Once you have shown your idea to the prototyping company or engineering team, they will start working on the PoC (Proof of Concept examples). This way there will be a confirmation on whether your idea is viable or not.
The company could advance to implementing rapid prototyping (usually 3D printing) to test more features before moving on to a new phase, or if you need the IoT prototype for showing it to potential investors (how to sell a prototype to a company).
If you want to advance on the technical aspect of the prototype, the company will probably work on the following aspects of electronics prototyping service:
- Hardware design
- IoT architecture
- Firmware programming
- Different technologies: ESP32 chip, Raspberry Pi (what are the benefits of IoT in Raspberry Pi?), microcontrollers, protocols and sensors.
These elements will allow your product to start interacting with other objects or to display its features on a more advanced level; which will be close to the final version of the prototype.
Thanks to this process, a soft prototype will be created, and from there, the process of iterating will start; which consists of testing the prototype and getting feedback to enhance it.
Some entrepreneurs stop the process here since they would like to work on product crowdfunding to get the necessary funding and get the prototype manufactured.
4. How to get a prototype manufactured?
This could be seen as the golden sample we showed in the picture above. However, to get to this point, it was necessary to carry out several tests and iterations.
Once you are satisfied with the final result, you can start manufacturing more copies of your prototype to test the market with early adopters. The success of this step will depend on how far you want to get with your product and how fast you want to launch it in the market.
Building a prototype requires patience and hard work. We couldn’t determine if the process will take weeks or months, because every project is different; but you can be sure the final result will be worth it (see prototype example).
Final thoughts on how to get a prototype made
Getting a prototype made is a journey that involves careful planning, collaboration, and perseverance. By following these steps, you can navigate the complex path from concept to creation, turning your innovative ideas into a tangible reality.
It doesn’t matter if you are located in the US or another country, there are many alternatives to get a prototype made, and many communication channels to be monitoring the whole process.
At DeepSea Developments we have developed prototypes for clients in over 5 countries in the last 5 years. Our communication skills, engineering team, and skills, make us the perfect fit for developing state of the art prototypes and IoT devices. Book a free consultation with our team now to take your business idea to the next level.