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The Invention Process: How to Turn Your Idea into a Prototype

by on Category: blog

Here’s what separates the professional inventor from the masses: taking action to bring a conceptual notion to life. This is prototyping—creating an early example of your product to test its viability and be used as a model for what will come later—and while it might feel like a major hurdle to overcome, the process can be a lot easier than you think. 

Start simple

 Though your idea might be intricate and complex by nature, when it comes to building a prototype, the more you can simplify your design, the easier it will be to produce. Refine your sketches into a clean, coherent idea with just the bare minimum of moving parts and accessories. This will speed up the prototyping process.

Create a 3-D design

 Did you know that many of the products seen on today's advertisements and television commercials are actually computer-generated three-dimensional designs? Idea Design Studio uses the same professional technology to create computer models of inventions that are as realistic as an actual photograph. If you are having trouble deciding exactly how your product should look, working with experienced designers can help you take your idea from concept to concrete design.

Don’t discount the DIY approach

Your first prototype does not have to be professionally manufactured—it just needs to work. If you can build a working model easily from home materials, go for it! Or perhaps you know a local metalworker, artisan, carpenter, or engineer who would be willing to help you out with specific parts or assembly. (Remember to get that NDA signed first.)

Take advantage of technology

Prototyping physical products has never been easier with today’s highly developed 3-D printers. Many professional inventors rely on these devices to create spot-on prototypes in just hours. Not sure how to get started printing out your idea? We’d be happy to help.

Forget the bells and whistles

Your first prototype will not be an exact model of the product you intend to sell one day. In the early stages, save the energy and expense of perfecting its appearance or adding fancy features. Instead focus on the basics of engineering and functionality: Could this product potentially work as you envision?

Act fast

The primary goal of prototyping is to evaluate whether your big idea is on the right track. Your time as an inventor is valuable, so test out a working model as soon as you are able—then you’ll know whether you should invest more energy in this concept or move on to your next next big idea.

For help moving from idea to prototype, contact us today.