Of great value when considering any new product design is the creation of a tangible first article, upon which to confirm the validity of the original design specifications, as well as consider any further refinements that would be of interest to the end-user. Taking into account your specifications for the product’s functionality, the first major milestone in the design efforts is to create such a prototype. Because the design must be performed to construct even a single unit, a great deal of engineering effort is put forth to create this prototype. Oftentimes, there are several steps along the way, allowing for various sub-sections of the design to be tested and refined.
The prototype can be a completely accurate model of the final production unit, down to a custom-fabricated housing and product stenciling, or it can be a functionality-only prototype. The type of prototype created is determined by several factors, including timeline and purpose-of-use. Many of our customers review their prototype as bare circuit boards, with the understanding that the housing is to be tooled up in a parallel path with the electronics testing. This provides the client the tremendous opportunity to interact with the product built to their specifications, and even add functionality whose usefulness was not fully seen until a hardware version of their product concept had been realized.