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Prototyping manufacturing ideas

Manufacturing is an encredibely expensive business. Starting a manufacturing business costs a great deal. The machinery is only the beginning. One of the priciest parts of the process is coming up with some sort of model of what you want to produce. Without the machinery in place it costs a great deal to try to produce something. However, without the model you cannot sell your business idea to anyone. Without investors your business will be over as soon as it began. So, unless you are independently wealthy and can afford to fund your own business venture you will need to produce this type of model. The name for a manufacturing model, or scientific model for that matter, is a prototype. The word comes from a Greek word that simply means first or initial type of something.

When you make a prototype you are designing and producing a rough model of what you will eventually build through a refined manufacturing process. Although the prototype is only an initial model, it is important that it look professional. This is largely because you will be showing to investors. Interested parties will look at the prototype and will either want to invest or want to stay away from your product.

One of the big challenges that most people face when trying to design a prototype is that producing them can be very expensive. If, for example you want to design a new toy that only sells for three dollars you will have to produce a prototype that costs twenty thousand. Because there is no extant process for building the toy much of the work needs to be done by hand or through expensive manufacturing processes. It is only when the product can be made and sold in large quantities that it becomes economically viable on a per item basis.

So how can you prototype your manufacturing idea without spending thousands or millions of dollars? In some cases it could be difficult or impossible to prevent spending lots, but in many cases you can use sophisticated computer models. Prior to computer prototyping it would cost you a good portion of your initial costs to creat the prototype. Now a very realistic computer model is used that will create a prototype that investors can see for only a fraction of the cost.

Another good way to produce a prototype is to use an extant model. In this case you simply have to make basic modifications to the current design and add some parts. This is considerably less expensive than trying to produce an entirely new product.

There are many professional prototype manufacturing companies out there so when you go to produce you manufacturing prototype shop around. A new business idea need all the capital it can get, so you might as well not throw it away on a prototype. Companies will want your business to design your prototype so compare prices and have them bid against each other. Run some initial product tests on your prototype so that you can talk to your investors about what the real product could be. The more realistic the prototype the more likely investors will be to put money into the real product. Find a prototype producer who understands your need to keep costs down and quality up. You probably don't want to use the same prototype company that Ford uses, although if you are producing an extremely pricey product you should come up with avery nice prototype. Configure your prototype according to the expense of the final product and its design sophistication.

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