How to create a prototype and launch your invention?

prototype

Do you have an innovative product idea (electronic object, connected object, etc.), and you want to create a prototype of your future solution? Here is the procedure for launching a product that does not yet exist. We are talking mainly about how to create a prototype and launch your invention.

What is a prototype?

It is an Industrial term; a prototype is an original model that presents the leading technical and functional characteristics of the future final product. The prototype can be a tangible or intangible object (service, software).


- The model, which is designed upstream of the prototype,

of the pre-series, which is launched following the production of the prototype. The pre-series is the production of a few copies in order to adjust the final manufacturing methods. Creating a prototype is a fundamental step for any project to create an innovative object. Good news, it is now much easier to build a prototype than before, and less expensive.

Fab-Lab and 3D printers:

The 3D printers have revolutionized the way of creating a plastic prototype. A 3D printer is a printer capable of producing three-dimensional objects from a model created using computer software. First expensive, 3D printers have become more popular and are now available in all major cities, in Fab-Labs, and sometimes self-service. It remains to identify the person who can help you create the object on suitable computer software unless you know how to do it yourself.

Prototyping of the electronic part:

Innovative products most often require an electronic part. You will need to get in touch with competent people to produce your prototype electronic card. Do not hesitate to approach engineering schools; some will be inclined to make their students work on your project, for a lower cost than the market.

Create a prototype: the ten steps of an innovative product development project.

Here are the different stages of an innovative product development project.

- Protect your idea.

 This is the priority. File a patent with IP by USPTO. The mere fact of mailing the envelope guarantees the precedence of your invention in the event that a competing patent is filed. Note that, in most cases, it will be necessary to surround yourself with an intellectual property expert for the drafting of the patent.

- Validate your invention through market research.

 Before thinking of putting your idea into practice, it is necessary to validate it with your future customers. It is a step unfortunately too often forgotten, the inventor being convinced of the brilliant and unique character of his invention. Tell yourself that other people may have already had your idea.

The real questions are: why is this product not on the market? Are customers ready to buy this type of product? What is an acceptable psychological price? What is an indirect competition?

Note: there are market research techniques specific to innovative products, and in particular Lean startup, which consists of building, testing, and adapting the prototype through permanent round trips with consumers. 

- Raise funds for product design.

Sufficient money will have to be allocated for the following steps, in particular, to pay the product designers and finance the prototyping. You should also know that another fundraiser will be necessary to launch the product in the series. 

To raise funds, it will be necessary to write a financial plan as well as a business plan. In particular, you will have to highlight the market potential by putting forward credible arguments.

- Write the specifications and create the model of the future product.

 The functional specification is a detailed description of all the characteristics of the future product. The specifications describe the needs, the operating objectives, and the functionalities, it also fixes the constraints to which the product is subjected (size, weight, size, temperatures, performances).


Once the specifications have been drawn up, it will be necessary to carry out the product model that carries out modeling of its shape and its future operation. The model can be produced using computer software. This will require the use of a specialized partner: service provider, engineering school, etc.

- Make the prototype of the future product.

Creating a prototype is particularly exciting. With your model in hand, you can start manufacturing the prototype. You will go through a service provider, an engineering school or a Fab-Lab. 

- Test, adjust, and validate the prototype.

Prototype 1 is rarely satisfactory. You will need to adjust, test, and retest the prototypes. Take care of the details, even if it takes time.

- Finance the launch of your product.

You will have to write a new financial plan describing very precisely your prospects of activity, your margins, and your fixed charges as well as your prospects of working capital requirements. It will be necessary to carry out a study of the cost price of the product and to justify the final sale price. The ideal would also be to refine your market research and start creating links with future customers (blog, website, social networks, press articles, events, participation in events, etc.). This will reassure funders.

- Identify your subcontractors and launch the pre-series.

You must now identify and approach the subcontracting partners who will allow you to mass-produce the products. If you produce an electronic product (mobile object or connected device), you will certainly have to turn to obtain competitive prices. You will find many supplier contacts on Alibaba.com.


For plastic parts, pre-series / series production will require tailor-made injection molds in aluminum or steel. The cost of such molds can be high (from $ 5,500 for a Chinese aluminum mold); it is understood that steel molds are more durable than aluminum molds.

- Create your company.

Now is the time to choose your legal status. If you are a start-up, we recommend the status of the self-enterprise or micro-enterprise.

Note that it can be interesting to place yourself under the status of Young Innovative Company to benefit from reductions in social charges and tax exemption.

- Start mass production and communication.

You are there! Your product is finally available for sale. Have you chosen your distribution network?

- Direct distribution via the internet has the advantage of preserving the margin, but requires numerous and costly communication efforts,

- On the contraryprototype, going through distributors or intermediaries means giving up part of the margin 


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1026 Words

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Jan 17, 2020

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3 Pages

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