Perfecting Products: The Importance of Prototypes

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Young engineers creating a prototype of a 3D printerBefore a product is mass-produced and distributed, designers must make sure that it does what it’s supposed to, and that their projections are accurate. They can do this by producing prototypes.

According to the University of Missouri St. Louis, prototyping is the process of building a model of a system. It is an important part of the production process of every manufacturing company. For instance, IST Precision, an engineering and manufacturing company in North Carolina, produces a fully functional prototype to help plan a full-scale production.

Evaluating the Design

When manufacturing products in bulk, there’s no room for error. But as the realized product may not always exactly match the specs on a blueprint due to a range of factors like manufacturing errors, designers need to find ways to catch any mistakes before it goes into mass production.

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Prototyping allows the designers and clients to test the features of the product and adjust or improve the designs accordingly. This way, the parties with a stake in the production could also avoid costly production expenses.

Client Satisfaction

Prototypes also play a key role in keeping clients happy. Designers could send some samples over to the commissioning company and ask for their feedback. This gives clients a sense of involvement and appreciation for the product even before the process is finalized. Moreover, prototyping builds the confidence of the client, because they are sure that the product was tested, inspected, and improved before being mass-produced.

Adjust Production Costs

The final product may need a different amount of raw materials than originally projected. Prototyping allows designers and manufacturers to have a concrete product that they could base their figures on. The additional logistical knowledge allows manufacturers to adjust their production costs accordingly.

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Moreover, manufacturers could adjust their projected productions costs if they see that there are parts of the production process which need to be removed or improved. Prototyping helps the designers plan the most efficient way to produce an item.

Prototyping, although an iterative process, is an important part of the production process. It’s all worth it in the end when the product is perfected, though. Clients are sure that the final product is the best version of itself.