Taking a product from concept to reality is an intricate, expensive, and time-consuming process. Perhaps this is why entrepreneurs and innovative companies are celebrated so much in our culture...it’s not easy, and there is definitely some risk involved. Let’s take a deeper look at the process to create something from nothing, and how Creative Mechanisms may be able to assist!
You can break down the creative process into five simple stages:
Part design and prototype development
Mold design, tool build, and mass-production via injection molding (for plastics)
Assembly, packaging, and logistics
Branding, promotion, and sales
Although the first and last stages typically garner most of the popular attention, steps two through four are the bread and butter of product development. You have to design an aesthetically pleasing, functional pa
rt - without recallable defects from manufacturing in order to have a successful product launch. Without a fundamentally sound product, you’re sailing against the wind.
1. Get the Idea.
2 - 4. The Nitty Gritty.
The skills required to design and develop a part and prototype are pretty specialized. Specific capabilities that Creative Mechanisms can bring to the table include Computer Aided Design, Engineering, CNC milling, and industrial grade FDM printing. There are a lot of ways to crack this nut. Independent design shops, independent prototype shops, and independent injection molding manufacturers are out there. That said, you’ll benefit significantly from working with a single company that can walk through all three stages of the process with continuity. This drastically increases your chances of getting a design that’s functional and also manufacturable (meaning the part design, the material, the injection mold tooling and the injection molding specifications will be thought through from the beginning).
5. The Product is Complete.
So What? Once your idea has been taken from concept to reality, you may feel as though the work is over, but that is certainly not the case. What good is a functional, manufacturable, perfectly machined part if no one knows about it? Branding, marketing, and ultimately selling your work is what makes future innovation possible. Typically you’ll work with a marketing agency on the branding and promotional side of the product launch. For sales, you’ll need to distribute via e-commerce or through a variety of different relationships with retailers and/or direct sales people.
We’ve shown that it’s not necessarily a cakewalk to bring a concept from idea to reality. The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the risk and work involved, and thus ensure greater chances of success. To learn more about the specifics of prototype design, product development, manufacturing and then successfully bringing a product to market, subscribe to our blog by filling out the form below. If you already have an idea for a new product, visit our contact page and let’s set up some time to talk.