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Contract Manufacturing Services
Product Design is the first step in the product development process where we can turn your idea into a working prototype. It’s not a required step. Most of our clients come to us with detailed plans or a working prototype already in place. But if you need product design, we can help.
Three types of prototypes
With the product design complete, we will begin to develop a working prototype that will help demonstrate the product’s functionality as a physical product.
Prototypes are developed for three stages:
An Alpha Prototype, often called a proof-of-concept model, is designed to test the fundamental technologies of the product – especially the more difficult technologies that come with significant risk.
The need for one or more Alpha prototypes flows from evaluating the risk of proceeding with the design without demonstrating the riskiest parts of the product first.
An alpha prototype is typically developed ad hoc by the engineering team from 3D printed parts and evaluation electronics, typically mounted on a wood base and hand wired.
A Beta Prototype is the first prototype which is a true representation of the entire product. It may be lacking packaging or maybe the color is not final, but it should be able to be used to test the design to the design specifications and the PRD.
Ideally, the design and materials are close enough to the final product design that any regulatory testing can be done on the product with little risk that there will be changes when the product is released to manufacturing.
Pilot Production is used to verify the production process. The design has been finalized and the pilot units are used to show that the production processes are adequate and in control.
For the purposes of this Stage, we want to consider the Beta Prototype.
Let’s talk about
Product Resources CEO John Erickson and Mechanical Engineer Michael Dragonas share their insights on topics related to Prototype Development.
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