Why get a Prototype?

Prototypes are an essential part of the design process: realising a design in a physical form. This is beneficial in proving whether a new product is viable, in terms of its mechanical, electronic and ergonomic design. Having a working prototype demonstrates the benefits of your idea to industry, in a convincing way, to help inspire confidence in the idea.

Prototypes are often also used to persuade potential investors, such as the entrepreneurs on Dragons Den, that the idea is something in which they should invest. However, prototypes can also be quite expensive so you need to fully consider your requirements. It might be possible to simply produce an appearance model or a proof-of-principle prototype. We will happily advise you on the best type of prototype for your requirements.

Three main categories of prototype

  • 1. Proof-of-principle: A prototype that simply proves that a particular new system, or mechanism, works. Often, it is merely part of the overall idea and it does not need to look like the final product.
  • 2. Appearance model: A prototype that looks like the final product but is not fully functional.
  • 3. Pre-production prototype: If you are taking your idea into production yourself, then you may require a pre-production prototype that looks, feels and works like the final product. This type of prototype can be produced to mimic how it would actually be manufactured, in order to check that everything will fit together correctly.

Innovate has built a variety of prototypes including: a small electronic product, for outdoor use; a stainless steel kitchen device; a locker with rotating transparent door; and a rucksack with a robot head for the Disney production "Meet the Robinsons." Further case studies can be viewed here: Prototyping Case Studies

We use rapid prototyping in SLS, SLA and FDM, for smaller products, which allows a real 3D model to be built from the CAD file. Larger models can be fibreglass, vacuum formed or machined.

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“From the initial search on the internet Innovate were at the top of the list. The company ethos of 'working for the inventor' and not using them as a 'source for new ideas that could be exploited' was part of the initial attraction. I found their response to my enquires very prompt and the literature dispatched to explain the various steps from researching patents through to obtaining the patent for my idea, clear and easy to understand. The process has been expedient and very professional with all personnel being very friendly and a pleasure to deal with.”

Adrian M. Morley - Heat Haus Ltd

Services we offer

• Rapid Prototyping

• CNC Machining

• Vacuum Casting

• Tooling

• Laser Cutting

• Electronics Development

• Fabric Prototypes

• Mechanical Design

We have built everything from robotic back-packs to pushchairs and lots in between.

So why not give us a call to discuss your idea?

01722 416879