Prototyping is a critical part of product development. It is the first time the product will be manufactured in any sense allowing its viability as a product to be tested in numerous ways.
It has historically been a “first step” in the development of a product, demonstrating proof of concept. The most famous example is probably that of the Wright brothers’ first flight. Despite being as short as it was the prototype airplane proved that their theories of aerodynamic control could be applied in a practical way.
Of course the famous flight was preceded by numerous other prototypes of wings and propellers that were used to gather data that all contributed to the success of the test flight. In bringing a product from idea to a tangible working artefact prototyping is an integral tool.
For any product large or small the ability to prototype it is critical. Many modern products are made using plastic injection moulding. This moulding technique allows for large volumes of a product to be manufactured rapidly and at low cost.
However, in terms of producing a single prototype or a small batch it can be prohibitively expensive. Working with a plastic injection moulding company that specialises in injection moulding prototyping means a prototype can be developed at a reasonable price.
Being able to develop a prototype injection mould gives a product developer a range of capabilities and contributes to the likelihood of that product ultimately being a success.
The primary benefit of a prototype is that it allows for a range of practical testing to be carried out. This testing may come in a number of different forms.
Ensuring that a product works as intended is probably the most important form of testing that a prototype allows. With a functional prototype a product developer can demonstrate proof of concept. This may assist in procuring additional funding from investors for a project.
It may also hep in discovering where additional efficiencies and optimisations may be made in the design where these were not easily identified in 2D or 3D designs.
The appearance of a product can be another important aspect in terms of getting funding for a product. This can be done simply by impressing investors with the appearance of an object or through consumer testing to determine how consumers react to the design of a product.
Injection Moulding Consultation
A prototype can confirm the suitability of a product to the injection moulding process and how a product could be improved before a larger investment is made in a full production run.
Material selection may be a feature that requires prototype injection moulding. If certain properties are required that the prototype material cannot accommodate then alternative materials may be considered. Heat resistance or surface friction are common requirements that will be determined by the material.
Consulting with injection moulders can also highlight potential for other moulding capabilities that can be applied to the prototype. These include capabilities such as 2 Shot injection moulding and insert moulding.
Injection moulding companies can provide design services for prototypes. Their familiarity and expertise with CAD software and machining technology gives them critical skills and insights into optimal approaches to prototype injection moulding design.