Injection mold tooling is notoriously expensive. This can leave you wondering, do you really need a functional prototype? Will a 3D printed part suffice?
Injection molded prototypes are developed to prove that a design will work. They offer the advantage of testing the molding process with the production material, so any process or material design flaws are discovered early on. For this reason, injection molded prototypes can actually end up saving you money in manufacturing. Here are 5 ways your product launch will benefit from developing a production-quality prototype.
1. It will help you build a better product.
Prototypes give you the advantages of finding flaws and working out the kinks before going into production. A prototype developed in a production-like tool will allow you to test your exact design with the freedom to make design changes and discover the best material for your product.
2. You might find ways to save money in manufacturing.
When you develop a prototype in a production-like setting, you can find ways to cut costs in that process. For example, when selecting materials for plastic parts, some prototype services allow you to sample several materials at once. This gives the benefit of finding alternative qualified materials for a cheaper price.
3. Your marketing team will get a head start.
By using your prototype as a marketing tool, you can begin market research with potential customers early on. Seeing a real example of the end product will also give your marketing team the time and knowledge to develop an effective marketing campaign. Take advantage of your life-like product and film a video of your product to start promoting early and build anticipation for the launch.
4. It will help attract investors.
Being able to do a product demonstration with your prototype increases your chance of gaining support from potential investors. Having tested your product with potential customers validates the customer need and the product's opportunities. The more evidence you can give to potential investors, the more likely they will back your product.
5. Use your prototype tooling to manufacture small production volumes.
If you are an entrepreneur with a brand new product, you may not need to initially manufacture millions of parts until demand requires it. A production-quality prototype mold can be used to manufacture upwards of 100,000 parts per year for no additional tooling cost and a low part price. OEM's can use their prototype tooling to manufacture replacement or specialty parts that do not require large production quantities.
How To Get Started
The Engineering Resource Center can manufacture your functional plastic injection molded prototypes and low volume production parts for a great price. Fill out our Rapid Quote form to get a quote within 24 hours! Whether you're an entrepreneur or an OEM in need of functional prototypes for testing, our experts at The ERC can help you out.