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audreybensaudreybens subscriber Posts: 1
edited June 2008 in Developing Your Invention
I am currently working on getting a prototype for my new idea and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on a physical prototype versus a 3D prototype?


  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Hello Audreybens! 
    Personally I think a physical prototype is necessary.  It`s hard to do your primary market research and really "work out" the bugs with a drawing even if it is 3D.  I had both and my 3D ones were done in "solidworks" and looked great on the screen. I had a lot of fun twisting and turning my prototype around, but I could not have predicted the nuances of the product w/o physically using it and testing it in different situations.  (or in my case, meats)  Physical get`s my vote!
  • audreybensaudreybens subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks so much for your response GrillCharmer! Would anyone know where I can have a prototype made in Florida?
  • GetAGripGetAGrip subscriber Posts: 14
    I think it is always best to have a working prototype when presenting, just my $.02!!
  • audreybensaudreybens subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks! I thinnk I will go for a physical prototype. I just need to find a company that could do it for me. What is the general cost for a prototype?
  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    It totally depends on what it is.  Is it plastics, cloth, metals, electronics?  Have you looked at www.thomasnet.com</A> for a prototype manufacturer in your area? 
  • chiefrunningnosechiefrunningnose subscriber Posts: 1
    I got both. I also live in Florida but I had a company in Kansas do the CAD (3D drawing). I wouldn`t recommend that particular company. It was actually 2 drawings of relatively simple designes. I paid $1,300 for everything. Not being satisfied with them, I found a different company, Sonos Product Developement in California. Sonos is currently evaluating the product and will soon give me a quote on the physical prototype and master tooling. 
    Sonos is amoung other things, a manufacturer so they were immediately able to review the CAD & suggest changes that would make the product easier to manufacture. The company that did the CAD did not see the problem because they are not manufacturers. A physical prototype can he held in your hand so you can find any potential problems before incurring the much more expensive tooling costs. I strongly suggest you get a physical prototype. Ask the manufacturer if a CAD is required or not. Sonos requested the changes to the CAD so I assume he felt a CAD was neccessary.
    Originally, I also was looking for someone in Florida, but found no one I felt was qualified to do what I wanted. The internet makes things suprisingly simple so working with out of state companies has not been a problem so far. I suggest you go to the company you have a good feeling about as opposed to one that is close to you.
    I must have googled 100`s of search words & phrases until I found companies who I felt were the most qualified. Then I e-mailed them. If I got an automated form reply, I deleted the e-mail & continued my search. Right or wrong, it`s just how I feel. When someone takes the time to personally respond, tell them without being too specific, what you`re looking for. If you get a positive response, send the NDA & let them evaluate your product. If they can`t help, they probably know who can.
  • bunnerbbunnerb subscriber Posts: 1
        i am a designer who works with inventors as my primary target market. I find that many inventors and entrepreneurs are good at solving a problem, but bad at the details.
        physical prototype is the way to go when showing your idea to investors, friends, vendors, pets, neighbors, etc.  but in this day and age of computer commerce, CAD is quick, simple, cost-effective and emailable. If you are really serious, you can rapid prototype the CAD for big $$ and then you have both physical and 3d.
        prototyping in any form is not cheap. but there are ways to amortize the cost over your project life. for instance, your model shop should give you the option of doing either models or a prototype. appearance models or sketch models. production prototype or technical prototype. and finally, CAD driven prototype or  CAD driving prototype.
        the difference in price from a sketch model, for instance, and a working prototype could be thousands of dollars. knowing these differences can help save money or delay the big chunk o` change exchange.
        the sticker shock will be significant, but nothing beats being able to hand someone a polished widget that you designed. the tactile experience is very powerful. hopefully you will have a good relationship with your model maker and you will feel that every cent was worth it.
         other question, along these lines: make sure you have worked out the design before plunking down heavy cash for a prototype. in my firm, i design as well as build models and do so in an ongoing process. design for a few hours, do a quick sketch model to make sure things work right, then back to the drawing board.
          a good designer will save you time and money with your product.
          good luck with your search. you can find a good listing of designers on a certain search site, but rather than give everyone that information, you can ask me direct. there are designers on that list in florida, too!bunnerb9/8/2008 12:49 PM
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