How to prototype an idea or invention

Each idea is different and the best approach to prototyping depends on the specifics of the idea. However there are some basic principles that can help. The first question to ask is: “What is the prototype for?”

Presentation to interested parties

When presenting your idea to an investor or company representative it might not actually be necessary to have a prototype. It is often possible to convey the idea or invention to an interested party using a graphic presentation. The idea should be designed, ideally using computer aided design, and then images of the product laid out on presentation boards. It is probably best to get a professional product designer to complete the design work and show how the product looks and what it does. Try to find a design company that specialises in product design for inventors. If you are felling stuck in any step you can always get help online from experts like InventHelp.

If funds are tight it is better to spend the money on a professional presentation rather than a prototype. The presentation will be more cost effective than the prototype and will be quicker to produce. The work done during the design stage can help reduce the cost of the prototyping stage if it becomes necessary at a later date.

When a prototype is necessary

Concept prototypes are sometimes necessary to either prove that an idea works or instantly convey an idea that is hard to describe on paper. If people need to interact with the idea to be persuaded of its benefits then a prototype can make all the difference.

Often people are more prepared to back an idea if they can see that a lot of the development work has already been done and a prototype demonstrates this. An inventor could typically expect to charge more for an idea if it has been prototyped so it is worth considering if the funds are available.

How much will a prototype cost?

Prototypes costs vary hugely depending on the size and complexity of the idea. Typically for a small handheld product with a unique shape it could be in the region of two to three thousand pounds.

Why are prototypes so expensive?

Often the idea has to be designed first to establish the layout of internal components and the shape of the casing among other considerations. Then a virtual model has to be built using computer aided design and then finally a prototype can be built using rapid prototyping. All of this takes time and therefore it is expensive. Again InventHelp is here to help you in this process.