When designing and developing a new product there are design development processes which are usually followed. The product design development process includes: research, ergonomics, styling development, brand consideration, sizing, engineering, material consideration and design for manufacture to name just some parts of the process.
What is prototype design?
Prototype design is the process which takes place before the physical creation of a prototype. Our designers will sketch a set of detailed drawings with production and prototyping techniques in mind. For hard goods products, we would develop the agreed concept into a 3D CAD model using industry standard professional prototype design software. Next step is confirming the costs and defining the agreed prototype specification and requirements.
The overall objective is to have a design that is ready for prototyping.
• 3D CAD model with parts ready to either 3D print or CNC machine.
• Consideration to manufacturing processes, but not necessarily having optimised part/assembly design.
• Full consideration to how the prototype will be made and assembled.
• Off shelf components selected.
What is Prototyping Design Thinking?
• Starting conversations with end users around an idea to help receive specific feedback.
• Testing possibilities without compromising on any details.
• Learning quickly from mistakes before investing too much time and money.
• Creating solutions by breaking down complex problems into smaller foundations that can be tested and evaluated.
Now you understand a bit about the design thinking and prototyping process, we will introduce you to design rules which are worth breaking!
Top 3 Rules You Should Break…
1. One prototype only
Designing a prototype takes time and money. The first rule we like to break is the one prototype only rule. Often, the first prototype you design will result in failure. Some clients get frustrated and think their idea isn’t worth pursuing. We recommend designing multiple prototypes improving any areas that needs to be refined based on real user testing. Prototyping can save time and a lot of money. It’s important to remember a prototype is a sample of a product to test the concept and process of the idea. Prototyping is a crucial part of the design process used by most designers such as industrial designers, engineers and service designers.
2. Conduct market
Research in populated areas. Market research is an important stage of the design process. This defines whether there is a target market for your intended product before you invest time and money into developing your idea. A common rule of market research is to reach out to areas which are highly populated and start asking anyone you come across questions regarding your new idea. This rule needs to be broken straight away. Yes, you will receive lots of responses, but the responses will not be accurate. You need to really consider who your intended target audience is before you conduct your research. By asking your specific target audience, you will gain accurate feedback, and this will save you lots of time and money in the development process. Find out more about the importance of market research.
3. Fast prototyping achieves poor quality prototypes.
Many product design companies do not like fast prototyping and claim the quality of the prototype suffers. This rule can be broken especially if you are working on a very small budget and don’t have all the background research you need. Fast prototyping is a great way of producing prototypes very quickly to test the concept of your idea. This process can determine whether your idea is worth developing, saving you a lot of money if the concept isn’t working or can’t be refined into a better working prototype.
At D2M we offer prototyping design services to suit both hard goods and textile products.
If you would like to know more about our services and how we can help you, please do get in touch.
Call us today on 01242 787996 we are open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.
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