What Are the Different Types of Prototypes?

While it may be tempting to go from concept design to designing the final product, it’s essential to work through your company’s prototyping process first. The reason for this is sales. Small manufacturers actually saw a 17.5% increase in average sales when they invested in design, including product prototype design.

When you go through the product prototype process, you’re able to determine what will work and what won’t work for the audience you intend to sell the product to. Remember that your product ought to be designed from the get-go to fill a need your customer base has. If you need to try and find a need for a product you’ve already pushed through to the final product design stage, then that product will fail on the market.

Product Prototypes: 3 Types of Designs

The product prototype isn’t designed at one stage. In fact, there are several different types of product prototypes that a product development firm will go through. Here are three of the key types of prototyping:

  1. Visual prototypes: After the initial concept design of your product is the visual prototype. A visual prototype shows stakeholders what your product will look like when it’s finished. This includes the product’s color, texture, shape, and size. At this stage, figuring out the functionality of the end product isn’t necessary. You only need to show the visual aspects of the product. This is typically the first step in the product development process. However, some companies may choose to use only a visual prototype if their product is extremely simple.
  2. Functional prototypes: Functional prototypes are where you learn exactly how your end product will work. During this stage of product development, your company will gather feedback on what can be improved about the product and how to go on from there based on new insights. There are often several functional prototypes involves in the product design process to ensure that the final product is as easy to use as possible.
  3. Presentation prototypes: After you’ve gone through the visual and functional stages of product prototypes, you’ll go onto the presentation prototype. This prototype is more expensive but will show you the closest version possible to the final product. You can use a presentation prototype to begin getting investors should you so choose or to get your customer base excited for the release.

Looking for experienced and professional engineering firms to assist your company with product design? Core Design has the product development team you need to help you create an awesome product. To learn more about our product development process, contact Core Design today.