How to Get a Prototype Made

Getting a prototype made for your invention idea is a necessary step before proceeding to spend money on its production. Unexpected complications may arise, but you may not know these problems even exist unless you first construct a prototype. Luckily, you don't have to make a prototype yourself, as there are plenty of prototype companies, machine shops, and other places that can build a prototype in a short amount of time. Learn how to get a prototype made rather quickly by following a few key steps.


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    Complete a conceptual sketch of your invention, and then complete a more detailed drawing. These can be drawings you do yourself with a pencil and paper or you can hire someone to draw your invention based on your detailed description. After you have a drawing that shows your idea in great detail, have a professional computer-aided design (CAD) drawing made. A CAD drawing is what you will want to show to the prototype maker.
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    Find a place that will create a prototype based on your specifications and CAD drawing. If your invention is made of metal, a machine shop will be able to make your prototype. If it is made of plastic, it can be machined or rapid-molded or you can seek out a service called rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping can get your item made in only a few days, but it may not be an exact replica of what you will be selling. Engineering firms can also construct prototypes.
    • Get a prototype made that is constructed of the same materials you intend the final product to be made of. This will be the true test of whether your invention will be functional or not because you will be able to see and touch its actual parts. Obtaining a real, functional prototype is the fastest and sometimes the only way to sell your invention to buyers.
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    Have your prototype remade until it is flawless in structure and function. You might get it right on the first try, but most of the time you won't. Chances are, you will need to get more than 1 prototype constructed and make slight changes after you encounter problems.
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    Get your working prototype mass-produced, and present your idea to potential buyers. Now that you know everything works and there aren't any problems, you are ready to sell your product.


  • Hiring a patent attorney is recommended to ensure you have a truly unique idea and don't run into trouble later. The attorney can also help you patent your idea or design after he or she has confirmed that the patent rights do not belong to someone else.
  • Do adequate market research before you have your drawings and prototype made. Make sure your invention is a good idea and that no one else holds a patent for its design before spending money on it. This will also save you from a lot of hassle.

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