Prototyping 101

Prototyping 101

When you have a clever or unique idea for an invention, it’s important to process a patent application as soon as possible. In 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office processed more than 629,000 patent applications! On average, only 55% of the applications submitted received a patent. A great way to improve your odds of getting a patent granted is to build a prototype of your idea or product. While the patent and trademark office does not require applicants to submit their prototype with their application, it can serve as a serious demonstration that your invention has been well thought out, which can merit your idea’s consideration.

If you’re unfamiliar with the prototyping process, there’s no need to worry. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about prototyping, as well as some tips you should consider moving forward with your idea or invention.

If you have a unique idea for a product and you’re ready to bring that vision to reality, contact United Global Sourcing today. We offer a variety of supply chain management services and we can help you find the best manufacturing or fabrication company for your needs, timeline, and budget. We’ll walk you through everything from the product concept to design and packaging, so you can feel confident about the product you’re bringing to life. If you’re interested in learning more about our services or you have questions regarding the best manufacturing company to work with, contact our friendly staff today.


Prototyping Tips For The New Inventor

Back in the old days, it took a very long time to turn an idea into a product. Luckily, with the advances in modern technology and production techniques, you can submit a large order and receive your products within a matter of weeks. Let’s look at a few things to do before you start the prototyping process.

Research Your Idea

Before you reach out to United Global Sourcing to assist you with the prototype of your product, take some time do a little market research on your idea. One thing many inventors fail to tell us is that inventing a new product requires an extensive amount of initial investigation. This will require a great deal of patience and resilience on your part.

Nicole Lininger, the director of corporate communications at InventHelp, recommends to, “Do some research into intellectual property and familiarize yourself with the process and the jargon used in the field, including patent, copyright, trademark, etc. There are numerous reputable sites you can learn from, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office, World Intellectual Property Organization and World Trade Organization. If patent protection is something you are interested in, contact a patent lawyer."

Create A Concept Sketch of Your Idea

Did you wake up in the middle of the night with an earth-shattering idea? Have you thought of an invention that you wish was created years ago? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to start getting serious about your idea! The very first step to take towards turning your idea into a reality is getting it down on paper. Write it. Draw it. Document it. Do whatever you have to do to help you visualize your prototype in even greater detail.

Many people prefer to map their product or idea out using a digital drawing platform. While these can be extremely helpful for getting your ideas across, it may be more beneficial to start with a pencil and paper. In the beginning stages of your invention, you’ll probably have a myriad of thoughts and ideas running through your head. Sketch out all of your ideas, and sit on them for a few days. When you come back to your pencil and paper, you can work on refining the design of your product before moving onto the next step.

Decide What Kind Of Prototype You Want

Creating a prototype is one of the most important steps in bringing your idea to life. A prototype can be defined as a simulation or sample version of a final product, which is often used for testing prior to launch. The main goal of a prototype is to test your product. Is it strong enough? Does it work like it should? Were the materials used to make it the best choice?

Prototyping is essential when it comes to solving usability issues before the official launch. It can help to reveal areas of your product that may need improvement, and it can be used to assist you in fine tweaking your invention. There are a few different ways to make a prototype of your idea. Let’s look at three of the most popular prototypes below.

Visual Prototype

This is the most common prototype option among new and experienced inventors. A visual prototype is intended to showcase the overall shape, dimension, and texture of a product. Sometimes, these prototypes don’t have any working parts, and they may be presented as a raw material, unlike the final product.

Proof-of Concept-Prototype

A proof-of-concept prototype is normally used to provide a demonstration of the core functionality of your product. It is also used to show off the technical aspects of your product’s unique design. On a visual level, don’t expect your prototype to look exactly like the finished product. It is very uncommon to see production grade materials used in this kind of prototype.

Presentation Prototype

The third and final type of prototype is a presentation prototype. This is often a working representation of how your end product will look and work. This product is normally made of a mix of production-grade materials to balance cost efficiency with the design quality. Many people choose a presentation prototype to show product viability before they start the mass manufacturing process.

image of various fabric in tubes

The Main Benefits Of Prototyping Your Product

It Makes It Feel Real

This is perhaps one of the most powerful reasons to have your idea prototyped: it makes it feel real. Anybody can carry a brilliant idea in their head for years, but what good does that do? Your idea will only become real when you can actually hold it.

You’ll Be Take Seriously

We all have that one inventor friend. They have a long list of brilliant ideas that would make them millions of dollars if they actually worked towards them. The sheer fact that they haven’t thought about their product design, production, and packaging needs, means that they aren’t very serious about their brilliant idea. If you truly want to be taken seriously as an inventor or entrepreneur, investors and business owners will expect you to have a prototype of your product. Failure to provide a physical item can be seen as a lack of commitment, which is the last thing you want when you’re molding the next greatest product.

You Can Get Honest Feedback

One of the biggest benefits of creating a prototype of your idea is the honest feedback you will receive in return. When you have a physical prototype of your product, it’s much easier for people to tell you what they like and what they think could use improvement. This can be especially important if you’re looking for honest feedback from investors.

Get More Funding

If you’re looking to gain the interest of investors and customers, investing in a working prototype can be a huge help. Investors and future customers will take you much more seriously if you have a sample of your product on hand. What’s most important is you will have the ability to show others how your product performs.

United Global Sourcing: Your Partner In Prototyping

At United Global Sourcing, we understand how challenging it can be to find a manufacturing or fabrication facility on your own. That’s why we’re proud to offer supply chain management solutions for people who need help prototyping their ideas. When you work with us, we’ll do more than simply put you in touch with the right manufacturer. We’ll keep a 24-hour communication cycle with you so you know all of the details about the product and the manufacturing process. If you’ve never heard of our company until now, there’s a good chance some of the products we make are in your home, car, or local department store. Whether you plan on creating the next best automobile accessory or sporting good, we can help you get there. Contact our staff to learn more about our manufacturing and fabrication services!