Testing your design

Creating a prototype of your new product is also a crucial part of the product design process, there will likely be several rounds of prototypes and model making to test and refine the product even further before it is truly factory ready.

Visual prototype design

There are two main types of prototype design; visual models and functional models. Visual prototype models are used for things like photoshoots, promotion videos and website images. They need to look like the finished article and seem appealing to consumers. Visual prototypes will likely have colours and a surface finish that will mimic the final result. The models might not fully function as the finished product would or be made from the same materials, but if you only want a static image for a website or a poster to look like the real deal, then it doesn’t matter what it is made of.

Functional prototype design

Functional prototypes test mechanisms, or sizes of a design. The ‘test rig’ of the prototyping world. They are quick models to produce, either by hand or a 3D print. When shown to the client for approval, further refinement or design development can take place before production will start. There are many different types of 3D printing techniques and materials. For a more in depth look at how 3D printing is used to enhance the product design process, check out this page from Almalgam Modelmaking who are based in Bristol.

For more information on the value prototypes can add to your project, please read my blog post on the benefits of prototyping here.