Everything You Need to Know About Plastic Prototype Development

Posted on November 15th, 2021 | Categories News

Before a manufacturer can put a product on the market it must first go through the process of prototype development. A prototype is a test version of a product that the makers design to find out how suitable it is for its intended purpose. Building a prototype helps reduce costs as the company can make any changes they need to improve quality and efficiency. Therefore, what exactly is prototype development, why is it important and how does it work? Here are some ways in which TK Fabrications work to create composite and plastic prototypes.

What Is Prototype Development?

The process of developing prototypes involves a series of steps that create a test version of a part or product. The makers create the prototype to look and function as close to the final product as possible. However, based on feedback and test results they will make changes to the final product that will differentiate from the prototype.

Why Is Prototype Development Important?

Making prototypes is vital for a number of reasons. Firstly, it helps sell the product to the intended market and gain vital feedback. Secondly, it allows the company to see how well the product will work in the real world. Lastly, it helps the company find ways to reduce costs when the product enters the mass production stage.

What Is the Prototype Development Process?

There are three main phases when it comes to developing prototypes:

  1. Alpha Phase – This phase shows how the product will look, feel and function. Proof of concept prototypes help test the main functions of the product. The makers design these prototypes with cheap, accessible materials with no attention paid to their aesthetic quality. Appearance prototypes, on the other hand, use more expensive materials to show how the product should look once in the market place.
  2. Beta Phase – Based on feedback from the alpha phase, the makers then design more sophisticated prototypes. Prototypes made in this stage feature the look and function of the final intended product and undergo vigorous testing. Engineering prototypes improve on the proof of concept prototypes by showing off the materials and complex machining methods used. If successful, the makers create a production prototype to show off the final intended design and functionality of the product.
  3. Pilot Phase – This phase is where the final prototype is made, which is sent out to committees who will review the product for certification. Once certified, the product can then move to the commercial phase.

How TK Fabrications Can Help

Here at TK Fabrications we use state-of-the-art CNC machining to create a range of composite and plastic prototypes. CNC machining offers precise and accurate work that saves on time and labour. In addition it can be used to work on many different types of materials. To find out more about custom fabrication or to request a free quote get in touch with our team today.