Using Prototypes in the Inventing Process


If you’ve got a great idea for a new product and want to pursue creating your invention, starting with a prototype is a great way to see what works and what doesn’t and share your idea with others. Here are a few prototyping ideas to consider.

3-D Printing

This type of prototype production has become quite popular. Shared maker spaces all over the world contain 3-D printers that hobbyists can use to create plastic items. If this is the route you pursue to create a prototype, you’ll need a computer model to send to the printer. For those who don’t have the skills to create a model, CAD design services are a great way to get the computer files you need.

Homemade Prototype

Using any items you can find around the house or easily purchase is a low-cost way to begin playing with prototype production. Give yourself permission to be creative and use things in unusual ways. Repurposing an old sock into a filter might be all you need to test the initial viability of your idea. You might feel a bit like the nutty professor, but thinking outside the box when you choose items for your prototype can allow you to quickly try out many permutations of your ideas without much expense.

Modeling Materials

If you’re creating a product that might ultimately be molded or cast, you can work with modeling materials to try various shapes and sizes. Polymer clay is a virtually mess-free substance that is easy to work with your hands and simple tools. It also comes in many colors if that’s an important part of your design. Even a simple material like children’s play dough can help you explore design ideas quickly and easily during the prototype phase.

Using prototypes is a great way to move from idea to product when you’re inventing. Choose the right prototype process, and you’ll soon have a physical item you can show others.…