What is Prototyping?
A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product. It is built to test a concept, test a process, or act as an item to be replicated or learned from. A prototype is used to validate a new design and/or to enhance the usability of a design through feedback from end users. Prototyping serves to bring to life a real, working product rather than a theoretical one.
Why do I need a Product Prototype?
Prototyping acts as a stepping stone to manufacturing. It is a lower cost attempt to bring a product to life close to its final form which allows your team the opportunity to provide feedback helping to guide any future design changes. Prototyping your product before manufacturing saves you time and money by ensuring your design is truly buttoned up before taking the leap into manufacturing. A functional prototype of your product will speak louder to potential investors and customers rather than a simple sketch of your idea.
What Types of Prototyping do we offer?
3D Printing | Cost effective and quickest way to obtain a three-dimensional form of a product. However, depending on the products’ functional requirements, 3D printing may not be the ideal solution. For example, rubber 3D printing technology isn’t quite up to snuff when compared to other additive manufacturing materials. When validating a rubber-like product, urethane casting is likely a better option.
Urethane Casting | Urethane casting is the process of creating a silicone mold of your product design and casting urethane material to yield a production equivalent part. This process can be required to validate part functionality and other times it is desired due to the part quality yielded from casting. Urethane casting is a great way to get production equivalent parts at a fraction of the investment of full-scale manufacturing. Urethane materials are offered hard or soft which allows you to prototype a wide variety of product designs from rubber-like bracelets to clear, hard baby bottles.
CNC Machining | Ideal for metal prototypes in small quantities. Our facility houses several beautiful HAAS CNC machines that can help bring just about any metal prototype to life.
Proprietary Prototype Injection Molding | Recommended for low volume, production quality parts. Assuming 3D printing doesn’t suffice to meet the functional requirements of your part, BeraTek has developed a proprietary prototype molding technique that offers a reasonably priced mold designed to produce a few hundred parts. This technique is great when production equivalent product is required to pass a test or further validate your target market. A great example is Repour, he required production parts in order to evaluate the oxygen consumption properties of various materials. Prototype molding allowed him to select the ideal production material and pass all necessary testing before jumping head first into manufacturing.
Why BeraTek for product Prototyping?
Our product design and engineering team will work directly with you to help chose the best method for prototyping your product. In-house prototyping services allow us to be responsive to the feedback you receive after testing and reviewing your prototype. Our team will work with you on recommended design changes to keep you moving forward on to the next step in the manufacturing process.
With a shiny new Fortus 450mc 3D printer in-house, our 16x14x16” build plate is warmed up and ready to turn your CAD model into a three-dimensional part!
Can’t effectively prototype with a 3D printer? Depending on the product function and material specification, CNC machining a prototype is often a great option!
Color options are available for prototyping as well, just ask us about the colors we stock!