5. Do You Have a Model or Prototype?
Prototype: Once an invention has been filed, the next step is to “Reduce it to Practice” by building models that can be used to gauge customer reactions, test, and measure benefits. The prototyping phase is done in conjunction with a detailed business plan and a risk and opportunity assessment. This assessment includes establishing a timeline for making decisions about how to best market, license, and profit from the invention. EfO Design will provide you with an action item list so that you can have a better overall perspective of the project status.
Prototypes can be virtual, physical or both and prototypes can also include the packaging of the product. We send to our clients computer generated models, or CAD (Computer Aided Design) models, along with 3D viewers so that the client can examine, and verify at their discretion, their invention’s proportions, features and functionality. You should also know that we can analyze these models by performing simulations with different materials, whether it is for structural or visual purposes.
As a part of understanding the invention’s behavior and functionality, we can manufacture a prototype. Limited testing can be done with a prototype to verify that it functions properly. EfO Design has extensive experience working with different types of materials, including plastics, metals, wood, and complex composites such as fiberglass and carbon epoxy.
We also specialize in building computer models that can be used to either render 3D printed functional prototypes, or to directly print molds that can be used to make multiple prototype copies. In general, we tailor the prototypes to the client’s specific needs. A prototype can be used as the first steps in surveying the consumer’s reaction of the new product while at the same time establishing initial market price points. EfO Design can help its clients identify customer segments and survey their response in order to validate business plans with actual data to substantiate funds or investor position.