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Your Complete Guide to Product Prototype Development Services

Every year, roughly 30,000 new products are introduced to the world. All the companies responsible for producing these products are filled with great hope when they’re first released. But ultimately, right around 95% of them fail and disappear forever.

Some of these products fail because there simply isn’t enough demand for them. Others fail because they aren’t marketed in the right way.

But then, there are those products that flop because of design flaws that get exposed once they hit the open market. It becomes clear that the companies that created them didn’t obtain the necessary prototype development services.

Prior to your company putting out a new product, you’ll need to put it through the product development process. This will involve you doing product prototyping and testing out different types of prototypes. It’ll enable you to find design flaws in your product before you put it out into the world.

Check out our guide to product prototype development services to gain a better understanding of the prototyping process.

What Is Product Prototyping?

Your company might have a fantastic idea for a new product you’d like to release. It may have all the makings of being a super successful product once you start selling it. But you could inevitably ruin this product from the start if you don’t do any product prototyping with it.

So, what is product prototyping? It’s a process that involves taking your idea for a product and using it to put together a sample of this product so that you can test it out to make sure it works. You’ll get the opportunity to test the quality of this product when it’s still in prototype form to avoid any major issues with it once it’s released to consumers.

The last thing you want to do is mass-produce a product only to find out that it has fatal flaws. They’ll doom a product from the start no matter how innovative it might be and make you wish your company had taken the time to invest in prototype development services.

Why Is Product Prototyping Important?

Product prototyping is important for a whole host of different reasons. First and foremost, you’ll be able to iron out all the details of a product that you would like to mass-produce while creating a prototype for it. You might quickly learn that bringing the ideas that you have for a product to life might be more challenging than you may have anticipated.

But this will only be the first of many benefits that’ll come along with prototype development services. Here are several other benefits that you’ll enjoy when you go through the product prototyping process:

  • Allows you to see what a product will look like so that you can give it the most aesthetically pleasing appearance possible
  • Helps you to see potential problems you might have with a product from a quality standpoint
  • Highlights any production issues you might have with a product during prototype manufacturing
  • Prevent you from wasting time and money manufacturing a product that isn’t as perfect as it can be
  • Gives you new ideas on how to improve a product that you might not get access to otherwise

There may be times when the product prototyping process will start to frustrate you to no end. This will be especially true for companies that have to create dozens of prototypes prior to landing on one that works and checks all the right boxes.

But as you can see, going through the product prototyping process will be well worth it in the end. It’ll give you so much more confidence in the product your company is going to be putting out.

What May Happen If Product Prototyping Isn’t Performed?

If your company chooses not to invest in prototype development services, you might get lucky and not encounter any issues because of it. If your product is incredibly simple and straightforward, you might be able to get away with not doing any product prototyping.

But these cases will be very rare. More often than not, your company will be making a huge mistake if you decide not to do product prototyping. You’ll almost instantly regret it and wish you had gone through this process.

Why? Well, most products aren’t going to turn out the way you want them to be the first time you manufacture them. There will be at least a few small problems with them that consumers might complain about later on.

You can steer clear of finding yourself in this situation thanks to prototype development services. They’ll uncover these issues and let you make changes to your product so that you aren’t forced to spend the next few months fielding complaints from angry consumers.

If you choose not to do any product prototyping, there is also a chance you might release a product that could potentially be dangerous for people to use. It could open your company up to all kinds of legal action, especially if you aren’t able to prove that you did your due diligence on a new product prior to selling it.

There isn’t usually going to be a whole lot of good that will come out of not doing any product prototyping. It might save your company some time and money on the front end. But you may pay the price for this later if a new product is defective in any way.

Which Industries Can Benefit From Product Prototyping?

The simple truth is that just about any company in any industry can benefit from product prototyping. But there are some industries that will find prototype development services to be more useful than others.

Here are a handful of the industries that can benefit from product prototyping the most:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Electronics
  • Medical
  • Oil and gas
  • Transportation

But again, you shouldn’t dismiss the idea of doing product prototyping if your company doesn’t fall into any of these categories. If you’re planning to manufacture a product made out of plastic, rubber, metal, or any similar materials, prototype development services will be a wonderful investment.

What Are the Different Types of Product Prototyping?

One of the really cool things about product prototyping is that there isn’t just one way to go through this part of the product development process. There are tons of different types of prototypes that your company can produce when you’re attempting to fine-tune a product and make it perfect.

Sketching and diagrams are some of the most basic forms of product prototyping. They’ll bring together all the ideas you have for a product and allow you to figure out how they’ll all fit together.

But you shouldn’t stop there. Here are some of the other types of product prototyping that should also be on the table:

  • Physical models
  • Wireframes
  • Working models
  • Video prototypes

These days, companies have also started to use what’s called rapid prototyping to their advantage. It involves utilizing 3D CAD software and a 3D printer to bring a product prototype to life in no time at all. Rapid prototyping is great for those companies that want to create prototypes quickly so that they can get a product out into the world faster than they would be able to otherwise.

What Are the Stages Associated With Product Prototyping?

No matter which types of prototypes your company decides to create, you’re going to need to work your way through a specific series of stages during prototype development services. These stages are designed to help you both create a prototype for a product and, more importantly, put it to the test to see whether or not it works as it should.

There are five stages that you’ll need to complete with a prototype before you can declare it a success or a failure. Here are the stages that you’ll need to move through:

  1. Defining a product
  2. Focusing on a product’s features
  3. Producing a prototype for a product
  4. Testing a prototype
  5. Presenting a prototype

Most of the time, a company that is doing product prototyping will need to go through these five stages over and over (and over!) again until they’re left with a prototype that is as close to perfect as it gets. It’ll be important for your company to practice patience throughout this process.

How Many Prototypes Need to Be Created?

As you’ve seen so far, there are crystal-clear answers to most of the questions that companies have about prototype development services. But there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this particular question, and there is a good reason for this.

It would be impossible for us to sit here and tell you exactly how many prototypes your company will have to create before you’re done with the product prototyping process. It’ll depend on everything from the complexity of your product to the logistical challenges you might face while putting prototypes together.

There are some companies that will only have to create a few prototypes while doing product development before landing on what will become their finished products. There are other companies that will create dozens and sometimes even hundreds of prototypes before finding winning formulas for their products.

You should try not to put a cap on how many prototypes your company is going to create. Generally speaking, you’ll need to create as many prototypes as it takes to get a product to a point where you’re satisfied with how it looks and functions.

When Is the Product Prototyping Process Over?

Just like it would be difficult for us to say how many prototypes your company will need to create while developing a product, it’ll also be tough to tell you when the product prototyping process is over. It’s going to be a different answer for all companies.

With that being said, there are some signs that will suggest the product prototyping process is over. Here they are:

  • Your product doesn’t have any obvious (or not-so-obvious!) design flaws that could hinder its ability to work in the way it’s supposed to
  • Your product is 100% safe to use
  • Your product can be manufactured at a reasonable price for your company
  • Your product isn’t the same as or even similar to any other products that are already on the market
  • Your product serves the original purpose that your company came up with for it

It’ll be imperative that you make sure your product is everything you want it to be before you bring the product prototyping process to an end. Not doing enough prototype manufacturing could be almost as bad as not doing any product prototyping at all in the first place.

Who Can Provide Prototype Development Services?

When your company first sets out to create a prototype for a product, you might be able to put something together on your own. But after that, you’re going to want to work with an experienced and skilled manufacturing company that can provide you with all the right prototype development services.

Shield Works is a British-owned company located in China that can set you up with a wide range of services, including:

  • Assembly
  • Manufacturing
  • Order consolidation
  • Warehousing
  • Quality inspection and testing

We also specialize in delivering some of the best prototype development services to those companies that are just setting out to create new products. We can help you piece together different types of prototypes and work with your company for as long as we have to in order to ensure your complete satisfaction with your prototypes and products.

Trust Us to Set Your Company Up With Prototype Development Services

Is your company currently in need of prototype development services? Shield Works can speak with you more about the importance of product prototyping and explain everything it entails.

We can also lend a hand when it comes to all the other aspects of manufacturing a new product and make sure that you’re able to give it every possible chance to succeed when you release it to the world. Contact us today to get additional information on the long list of services that we can provide to your company.

Why China is the Top Country for Product Prototyping

Although there are prototyping services in numerous countries around the world, China provides one-of-a-kind advantages to entrepreneurs and manufacturers alike. Let’s take a look at why China is the best place to prototype products before they launch globally.

Labor cost is lower

While labor costs in China are still cheaper than those of other high-tech economies like Japan and South Korea, they use more advanced machinery and better manufacturing processes to make products cheaper, faster, and higher in quality. Allowing these firms to set lower prices, such efficiency come from better use of technology (like robots) and closer monitoring of labor schedules to minimize downtime (i.e. breaks taken by workers). These different factors increased efficiency and lower wages, which mean that Chinese manufacturers are capable of supplying a higher quantity of products at a lower cost than anywhere else in the world.

They take care of it all

Some Chinese prototyping shops provide all the help you need to build a prototype. On-staff designers, 3D printers, and injection molders will give your ideas form and shape. if you purchase a package deal, they’ll do all of your work for you. Startup founders love this because it lets them focus on what they do best. Even better: specialized prototyping companies are popping up in increasing numbers, with faster-than-normal manufacturing processes, which work well for small startups aiming to get specific things accomplished.

For example, if you’re building a medical device, you might want to partner with a firm that specializes in the design and manufacture of medical devices. These firms know the details that the regulatory agencies such as FDA need to make sure that you’re following their protocols and as such you don’t need to concern yourselves with that information. Entrepreneurs who are launching hardware-based products should work closely with these experts from the earliest phases of the project.

Fast delivery

Inexpensive prototyping and large-scale manufacturing allow product developers to innovate at an unprecedented pace. Chinese factories offer lower costs, shorter lead times, and larger production volumes than other countries. Companies like Apple have established relationships with Chinese manufacturers for over a decade. Today, a large percentage of Apple’s products are manufactured in China—including final assembly for some parts (e.g., cables and batteries). While there are many factors that come into play when deciding where to locate production, high speed of prototype delivery has become increasingly important as consumers demand better turnaround times on pre-orders.

Preloaded technology

Since they make 3D printers with helpful software to make them easier to use, Chinese manufacturers also preload their 3D engineers with more industry experience, because they typically hire skilled workers who are experienced with manufacturing similar products or work with experienced consultants. Due to its large population, the talent pool in China is nothing comparable to those in other countries. It’s been difficult to close this sizable gap.

Innovative culture

While in the past China’s reputation has been that of a country that has stolen technologies and has relied on a copier culture, it’s now on the verge of becoming a leading economic power. Beijing’s top leaders are beginning to think that innovation, not imitation, can be the solution to some of the country’s problems and that it can create new industries and jobs, as well. They believe that innovation will lead to economic growth and more opportunities. nearly 700 universities in China have revamped their names to incorporate innovation, signifying an emphasis on teaching for research and development. Only a few years ago, these schools focused solely on providing the lowest common denominator of engineering training, churning out manufactured products for countries around the world.

Home-made tech forces

One of the reasons why Chinese startups can prototype at such an accelerated rate is that they take advantage of local tech hubs. These facilities allow startups to rent office space, equipment, and more–eliminating expensive overhead costs while also fostering a sense of community and support. For a tech startup’s success in prototyping its product, being closer to industry experts and resources as well as proximity to large financial markets might be just as important as proximity to Silicon Valley’s startups and innovation.

For instance, take Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen for prototyping needs. With processors, motors, sensors, and circuit boards, this massive market has all of the electronic components imaginable. This place would be like a godsend for an entrepreneur! Don’t worry, those needing a startup engineer or product designer needn’t walk the thin line of distributors or manufacturers – they can take to the equally harrowing but far shorter task of searching Huaqiangbei Street instead! Of course, they also gain an attractive other benefit, though access to information.

Shield Works’ in-house engineering team is well-seasoned and bilingual, and we have over 17 years of product prototyping experience in China. Contact us now for more!