You’ve come up with a great idea on paper, and now you’re reading to bring the image to life. It might feel like the hard work has been done, but you’re just getting started.

The Stages of Product Development

With your idea in mind, you may be ready to prototype your design. Before prototyping, there are a few stages of product development you’ll need to check off your list first:

  • Develop your idea. Do you just have a vague idea about the product you want to develop or have you sketched it out and have a clear idea about all the features? If your idea is still foggy, now is the time to flesh it out.
  • Do some research. Sure, you think your product is the best thing since sliced bread, but what matters more than your own opinion is the opinion of everyone else. Make sure you do some market research to ensure that the product is going to fill a gap in the market and sell.
  • Create detailed sketches. Once you’ve validated your product design, you’re ready to create a detailed plan for your product. This should include detailed sketches that describe every aspect of your product. Nothing should be left to the imagination.

With these essential steps of product development completed, you’re ready to move onto one of the most exciting parts – creating a prototype.

Finding a Third-party Prototype Service

Contrary to popular belief, you’re incredibly unlikely to create a single prototype before taking your product to market. No matter how perfect your design looks on paper, you’ll likely get your first prototype back and realize you want to make a couple (or many) adjustments.

To save money, some entrepreneurs decide to tackle prototyping themselves. Although you can sometimes create a prototype yourself, this isn’t always possible. If your product is clothing, pottery, or food, you may be able to do it yourself. For other types of products, more often than not, you’ll need to hire a third-party company to produce a 3D model of your product.

3D model manufacturing can be expensive, as molds, dyes, and tools are often needed. As 3D printing technology improves, fast prototype services are becoming more available.

Optimized 3D Engineering reduces the cost of 3D print services by building products layer by layer, rather than using a mold or cutting the product from a block. This reduces waste, thereby reducing cost. Orders also have a very quick turnaround time of 7 to 14 days, so you can prototype your item repeatedly without wasting too much time.

In addition to their prototype service, Optimized 3D Engineering also offers single-use and small batch production services.

Getting your Product to Market

First-time product developers don’t always realize that there are still several steps between the prototyping phase and getting their product on the market. You will still need to:

  • Source materials
  • Choose a manufacturer
  • Design your production chain
  • Create a comprehensive cost analysis
  • Price your product

Finally, it’s time to sell your product. If you’ve done everything right, you’ve developed a killer marketing plan and are sure to successfully launch your product.