The Various Types of Prototypes Used in Product Design

The Various Types of Prototypes Used in Product Design

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Wednesday, November 24, 2021

FREMONT, CA: To remain competitive in today's fast-paced consumer market, businesses must develop and release new items more quickly. Rapid prototyping becomes the most critical element of new product development when speedier product development and technology innovation are critical to a company's success. Rapid prototyping is used to accomplish the following objectives.

  • The rapid development of new products - Prototyping is critical in developing successful goods since it accelerates the process of new product development.
  • Early-stage design/concept validation of the design's shape, fit, and function
  • Verification of the final stage product against the technical specification and business objectives
  • It enables functionality testing to validate the concept's objectives and to finalize the specification.

Prototypes provide a hands-on user experience to the end-user, client, customer, and user participants to elicit feedback.

Prototypes are an essential component of engineering product design and, more crucially, the complete process of new product development. Rapid prototyping can be utilized at any product development cycle or for any component or sub-component, and it can be repeated multiple times during the new product design process. Although the term prototype is sometimes used in other contexts such as software development, semantics, and application development, the intent is the same.

Prototypes used in product design

Prototypes are classified according to the degree of accuracy necessary, i.e., "Fidelity," and the stage of product development at which they are utilized.

Types of fidelity: Prototypes do not have to resemble final goods and might vary in appearance based on the goal of the product designer. Rapid prototypes are classed according to their accuracy or "fidelity," The level of fidelity varies from basic low-fidelity to high-fidelity in terms of functionality, appearance, user interface, and size.

Low-fidelity prototype: Extremely simple and quickly created to validate the more significant concept. e.g., From sketches on paper to cardboard mock-ups.

High-fidelity prototype: These prototypes appear and function identically to the final product.

Types of NPD stages

Prototyping, the process of building, reviewing, and refining a product in modern engineering, fits into all four primary stages of the design process (product planning, conceptual design, embodiment design, and detailed design).

  • Prototypes for proofs of concept
  • Prototypes of demonstration or presentation models
  • Functional prototypes
  • Prototypes of aesthetic or industrial design
  • Final factory  sample
  • Prototypes in the alpha and beta stages of development

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