Industrial Concept and Prototyping
Concepts grow from ideas presented by our clients: For example, a client may have an idea that they want to bring to market. Or a product that may need proprietary features that won’t infringe on current patents. With our in-house tooling and 40 years of experience, we can help bring your ideas to reality by building and testing prototypes that we construct in our shop.
Prototyping is a critical part of the product development process. By identifying what works and what doesn’t early on we reduce risk and the chance of making costly mistakes. We offer various processes of in-house prototyping from 3D Printing, laser cutting and CNC routing to urethane casting. Many of our clients are looking for initial samples or low volume production long before they can commit to hard tooling or a contract manufacturer. This is where our experienced prototyping team becomes valuable. We can make a few parts or hundreds of parts.
Our process results with pursuing multiple approaches in parallel to reduce risk or in making an educated choice of one approach to pursue. From the start we consider issues related to the ease of manufacturing, size, and cost to ensure the solution will perform and will be appropriately priced. Our motto is “Design to Build”, this keeps the project affordable and will often keep the manufacturing costs down.
Functional model prototypes are a representation of your product. They can be used to help tune the operation of a part or sub assembly of a product. In the early stage of designing a model allows for the exploration of a real physical object or assembly, in some cases allows the refinement of a feature much faster than viewing variations of the product on a computer rendered model.
Moving, interacting parts can be quickly refined, and new opportunities discovered. This interaction allows the designer or client to explore a concept with their hands and mind physically. This can be done on the bench in our shop, then making adjustments with our in-house tools and materials.
Models can be built many ways including:
- First steps are story boarding different options to identify issues in the early stages of design
- Foam and wood models with hot glue, wires and other materials
- Quick cut “in-house” machined parts for analysis, fit and operation
- The use of purchased, off the shelf and modified components
For companies launching a new products, thinking about manufacturing early in the design phase is an important part of a successful product launch. The process of evaluating details when designing a product allows the product to be manufactured at the lowest cost, highest quality and delivered on time.
Some common questions every product faces on route to manufacturing:
- How do I design my product for lowest cost and keep the important functions?
- Where do I find and buy off-the-shelf parts to aid in keeping the lowest cost?
- What materials and finishes do I use to get the product to look great and perform well?
We are here to help you to find “good fit” for suppliers and a manufacturer for your product, both local and abroad. This approach helps in the transition of taking your concept prototype to the market.