When Is the Right Time to Solicit for contract manufacturing services?

Probable, you have realized there are 100s of contract manufacturing companies with https://www.innomanufacturing.com/ being one of them. But, there is this million dollar question that seems to confuse many people, “when is the right time to seek contract manufacturing services?” You might have realized, the big boys like Microsoft, GMC, Apple, Samsung, Google and many others do also hire contract manufacturers. If you seem not to understand why and when to go for CMs; below is the explanation you need.

Seek contract manufacturing services while starting up a business under a strict budget

There are few instances when investors or newbie investors start their business with the full needed budget set aside. At times, many opt to get their business going and see it grow to a self-sustaining company. If you are starting your manufacturing business under a tight budget, it would be wise if you get into a contract manufacturing agreement with an already established CM company. Working with a contract manufacturer will help cut down manufacturing cost and employees’ wages until your business cash flow gets healthy.

contract manufacturing services
contract manufacturing services

Use Contract Manufacturing Services When Unveiling a New Product Brand

When planning to venture into new product brand manufacturing, no investor is 100% sure that his or her product will make it in the competitive market. Honestly, the establishment of a new product brand is accompanied by trial and error attempt in efforts to make that product relevant to customers. If you are a veteran or a newbie in the manufacturing industry, but you’re not ready to invest your money and time in trial and error manufacturing, outsourced manufacturing companies are the way to go. All you will need to do is choosing an experienced and reputable company with the right machinery.

Contract Manufacturing Services are Essential Will undergoing financial Crisis

In business, not all days are good. Sometimes your company might be passing over the severe financial crisis. In such times, you better seek contract manufacturing services to help you cut down manufacturing cost and save manufacturing time for other services, e.g. advertisements. You can opt to seek the help of a contract manufacturer until when your company will get back on to its financial feet.

contract manufacturing services
contract manufacturing services

Contract Manufacturing Services Can Fast Track Your Product Quality Improvement

Regardless of your product types, there are several types of contract manufacturing companies out there. Remember, most of the big contract manufacturers have worked with several clients. With their immense experience under their belts, if you hire them, there is no way you will suffer, trying different formulas to improve your products. These companies already understand what is needed of them to produce a quality product. Hire them, and they will save you the trial and error time and money.

Use Contract Manufacturing Services when product Demand is Unpredictable

In business, you must accept there are times of high tides and low tides. Sometimes, your product will be on high demand and other times the demand will decrease. In connection to that, contract manufacturing can help you save compared to when you’re manufacturing the products by yourself. Thus, during low demand seasons, consider hiring contract manufacturing companies, and you will cut some manufacturing cost.


Although you have realized contract manufacturing Services can be of great help; not all companies are worth hiring. Take your time and study every company to know which one fits your needed manufacturing quality, the scale of production and one the one you can relate well with.

What is so special about 18650 batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries are more popular than you think. In fact, they are closer to us and greatly help us in our daily lives but most of us don’t know, this is because they are usually found in our devices and appliances rather than on the shelf of our favourite supermarket. Devices such as our smartphones, baby monitors, flashlights, and baby monitors make use of these batteries.

A typical example of Lithium-ion batteries is the 18650 battery. Commonly found and used in battery packs, an 18650 battery is a lithium-ion cell that is 18mm x 65mm in size although there could be some little variations. They are the holy grail of Lithium-ion batteries and are also preferred to be used in powering powerful devices such as laser pointers and laptops.

18650 batteries
18650 batteries

A typical 18650 battery’s performance capacity should be in the range of 1800mAH and 3500mAH while boasting an output of about 3.7volts. They are arguably the best Lithium-ion cells to be used for rechargeable and replaceable batteries.

However, with the increasing popularity of 18650 batteries, they have become quite rampant in the market. The 18650 batteries that were like gold and only available to device manufacturers can now be found in the hands or store of virtually anybody who sells electrical appliances. This has made getting quality ones really difficult so you might want to be extra careful when shopping for them.

What Appliances Make Use of Them?

As said earlier, 18650 batteries are used in virtually all appliances ranging from our phones and laptops to our baby monitors and fitness gadgets. More important and outstanding, however is the fact that they are also used in the powering up of battery packs. Below are some of the battery packs that make use of 18650 batteries.

18650 batteries
18650 batteries
  • 24v 7.8ah lithium ion battery pack for trolley golf

The TLH-7S3P-25278 24V 7.8Ah lithium ion battery pack is a top-notch battery pack specifically designed for the powering of trolley golf and electric surfboards, among others. What especially makes it stands out is the fact that it is very easy to carry around as the manufacturers were somehow able to squeeze all its functions and complexity in a device that weighs just 960g and measures 56 x 130 x 70mm. It uses a Samsung 2600mAh 18650 lithium-ion cell that recharges under standard charge current in 4-5 hours, with a charge life cycle of about 600. The batteries come with a two years (24 months) warranty.

18650 batteries
18650 batteries
  • 24V 15.6Ah e-bike battery pack for e-bike board

The TLH-EV010C E-bike battery pack is designed for use on the boards of E-bikes. It has a compact size of 390 x 80 x 80mm and can also be used for rescue vehicles and police patrol vehicles. It uses two 18650 2600mAh lithium-ion batteries to operate. The batteries could be any of Samsung, LG, or Chinese make. They come with a warranty of 2 years (24 months) and over 600 life cycle before their performance begins to drop.

Wayken Will Provide the Best Rapid Prototype Service

Established more than a decade ago, WayKen is the leading rapid prototype manufacturing company headquartered in ShenZhen, Guangdong province, China. As a privately owned company, we are renowned for providing services like plastic CNC prototyping, aluminum machining, rapid prototyping SLA & SLS, vacuum casting and rapid injection molding with good quality and 30% less cost than some US/European prices. The founder has more than 20 years of experience in the field of CNC machining. Our engineers and hand-crafted masters also have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Wayken normally provide the timeliest and cost-effective solutions and quotations. We are totally devoted to the satisfaction and success of every designer.

Thanks to our proficiency in rapid prototype manufacturing, the company has unrivalled capabilities to produce the finest visual design models, full-functional rapid prototypes and low volume production of custom parts, which allow you to proof your designs thoroughly and make sure your final product looks and performs exactly as intended. Our biggest asset is our customer base which has grown through word-of-mouth to include customers from around the world. Our clients include companies in the consumer, design, commercial, industrial, medical, automotive and aerospace industries. From independent inventor designer to large automotive, medical, household appliance to aerospace companies, WayKen rapid prototype manufacturing limited offers only low-cost, top quality production services and products delivered on time!

Today, WayKen employs approximately 51-200 employees. Our focus on Automotive Prototype as a complete service has allowed us to expand our knowledge and experience in this area. From proof of concept design reviews and mechanical component engineering test to Show Car projects, from exterior lighting prototypes to interior component prototypes, we are able to support at all levels.

WayKen has a team of CNC plastic machining and a team of CNC metal machining expert programmers and engineers to ensure parts are machined with the best possible product results. Our rapid prototype manufacturing meets the demands of today’s compressed design-to-market timelines. We pride in our professional technical sales team who provide us with sound advice on materials, processes and finishes.

At WayKen rapid prototype manufacturing limited, our mission is to explore infinity creations, dedicate to the satisfaction and success of every designer. In our pursuit to achieve that, we are guided by our core values which include serving customers while striving for excellence, entrepreneurship & innovation, honesty and integrity, thus resulting into undeniable pleasant work.

We are second to none as far as matters CNC machining, rapid prototype manufacturing and design engineering go. Undoubtedly, advanced rapid prototype manufacturing and CNC machining services cover a wide range of industry. Focusing on visual design models, full-functional engineering prototypes and low volume production of custom parts, we make sure your final prototype functions exactly as wished. We pride ourselves in rapid prototype manufacturing that meet the demands of today’s compressed design-to-market timelines and a professional technical sales team that provide sound advice on materials, processes and finishes.

Why You Should Choose Us? 

See, all our machined components are made to your specification, using a variety of machining techniques; CNC routing, diamond tip machine polishing, milling turning and laser profiling. By considering us, you’re guaranteed of benefiting from our goal which is to continue supplying affordable quality prototypes, which contain the functionality of production intent. We provide high-quality rapid prototypes quickly, accurately and at a competitive price. Whether it be our automotive prototype machine shop professionals, WayKen’s engineering staff, our sales staff or our shipping personnel, the people of WayKen earn the trust and confidence of all our customers one perfect part at a time. WayKen as one of the most competitive prototype manufacturers has its own prototype machine shop that includes CNC machine shop and other department. We’re not only a prototype shop but also one of the rapid prototype manufacturers that you can trust.

With the development of modern industry, more and more industries are paying more attention to Research & Development investment. In order to cater to the fast ever-changing market, it is necessary to boost and accelerate the stage of product development. In the design and development phase, more and more companies will use the model to verify whether their design is reasonable or need improvement. Regarding the model, the current CNC machining technology has been able to basically meet the needs of many products. Obviously, different companies have different selection criterion, however, here is why we are always the epitome whenever it comes to choosing a rapid prototype manufacturing and fair CNC machining company?


Our prototypes include appearance and structure models, and they have different quality requirements. The appearance models cleverly focus on color, surface texture, glossiness and other details. WayKen’s structural models focus on the accuracy of the size and assembling functionality. According to varied model requirements, the quality influence factors will be different accordingly. The quality of appearance model is determined by the post-processing technology. When machining high dimensional accuracy model, it’s determined by the accuracy of machining cutter, the smaller the cutter radius, the higher the machining accuracy. Another factor is facility. Different facilities will produce different quality parts. In a nutshell, at WayKen you’re assured of quality product that’s designed with you at heart.

Listing Details

Our 20,000 square feet facility is evidently a state of the art facility that’s only one hour from Hong Kong. As such, we offer untold convenience and that you can’t find elsewhere in today’s ant-like world.

Experience and Technology:

Experience and technology play an important role in the field of rapid prototype manufacturing, automotive prototyping as well as CNC machining. Especially for some complex parts, how to process the ideal products can be described as benevolent. Thanks to our experienced workforce, we accurately determine the best solution for customers to meet their requirements, which has proved to greatly improve the efficiency of model making.


When it comes to this, our response is always speedy. We pride in timeliest delivery, packaging and logistics. These are undeniably the three major factors affecting the rapid prototype manufacturing industry efficiency. Whether your quote quickly and accurately, we always offer delivery in time, provide solid packaging solutions and fast logistics are all crucial decisions.


To us, there is never the lowest price but even lower price, honestly, in most cases, low price often means high risk. However, that depends on different equipment, labor, factory size, and other extra costs, the price of each of our product is different. All in all, a reasonable price is always based on quality.

WayKen’s range of products as alluded above. As the product range suggests, in the past few years the company has concentrated on developing and manufacturing products and systems which you’re assured of top-quality. Regarding share market, WayKen is the market leader in China. Today, our products are world-widely recognized by customers as reliable, durable goods with good price-quality ratio. The company is appreciated for its high service level and rapid prototypes supply. The recent changes in rapid prototype manufacturing laws have permanently changed consumer needs thus making us get more focused on development. Currently there are many development projects in progress, which focus is improving the efficiency as well as the extension of our products range. WayKen’s other operation territory is production and maintenance. Additional services include client induction on how our products work, security system, offices, storage and production facilities as well as staff canteens.

Awards and certificates:
All our products are ISO certified. During the years of our operations, we have been granted varied awards and honors for our excellent services and quality products. In the past few years the company’s reputation was enhanced by several awards in the following areas: new developed rapid prototype products, WayKen brand, ethical and sustainable business activity. Evidently, the streaming of these honors is not going to stop any time soon, thanks to our dedication to continued development and progress.

WayKen’s products are present in many markets all over the world, especially in the Asian countries. Our strategic plans for the nearest future assume development of the rapid prototype manufacture business on the market, develop the products range, establish strategic alliances, and develop business process. We aim to develop the supplier parts business by attracting new partners, establishing strategic alliances, releasing production of a higher added-value and intensive growth.

Financial Results:
Considering our period of existence, it’s safe to say that our annual turnover is very much healthy. Our team of dedicated employees tells it all. Compared to our competitors, our financial muscle is far much stronger and we can just anticipate for more future growth. This is all thanks to our transparency, accountability and our aspect of always putting our clients’ needs first.

Bottom Line

If you need an automotive prototype that caters for all your needs, please feel free to contact us via the contacts provided herein. We have decades of experience manufacturing high-quality rapid prototypes that you won’t find elsewhere. We are a customer focused prototype shop and strive to meet all quoted lead times, deliver superior service and part quality and maintain a competitive edge through innovative service offering and our highly skilled workforce. At WayKen, we say what we do and do what we say, welcome!

Software Prototyping Techniques You Need to Know

Many manufacturers are embracing the software prototyping techniques. Hence, this has led to discovery of more prototyping techniques to fit various sectors of manufacturing. If your company has not yet embraced this new technology, consider using this technology.

Software prototyping is a new technique in prototyping. It has vast techniques such as:

  • Evolutionary prototyping
  • Incremental prototyping
  • Dynamic systems development technique.
  • Operational prototyping
  • Throwaway prototyping
  • Horizontal prototype
  • Vertical prototype

These different software prototyping techniques have different uses in the manufacturing sector.

 Seven Software Prototyping Techniques.

  1. Evolutionary Prototyping

Breadboard prototyping is another name of evolutionary prototyping. The evolutionary prototyping key objective is to create a strong prototype that has completely undergone refining. The main purpose of creating an evolutionary prototype is to play the key role when developing a new system. Therefore, when there is need for improvements for the system it becomes easy.

Evolutionary prototyping has given freedom to the developers of the system to add more features or create a new design of the system with ease. Although the evolutionary prototype is not the final but it can work similarly to the projected prototype.

This prototyping technique give the designers a chance to create a perfect system slowly without stress.

Pros of Evolutionary Prototyping

  • Evolutionary prototypes allow the user to have a good rapport with the system. This rises the ability to create a user-friendly system according to the desires of the user. Nevertheless, this technique is successful if the user and the producers are in constant communication.
  • This prototyping technique enables the user to get a similar system that works in the same way to his or her desired system. Therefore, this solves the problems of the user before getting the final system.

Cons of Evolutionary Prototyping

  • Creation of the evolutionary prototype may have management issues and special abilities that may be readily unavailable.
  • Maintaining a system is a challenge for most newly created systems. This is not different when it comes to evolutionary prototyping. Hence, this brings up unnecessary cost increment to have the system maintained.
  1. Incremental Prototyping

This is a software prototyping technique where you do model creation and testing as you add or reduce some features to the model awaiting it is completion. An incremental prototype brings together features from the waterfall design.

This software technique is applicable to DevOps, a software engineering culture that aims to bring together software development and operation.

Features of Incremental Prototype

  • The main requirements are the primarily considered.
  • Fractional systems creation comes first before constructing the absolute system.

Pros of Incremental Prototyping

  • Before delivering the system, you should thoroughly test the system. Hence, identifying and correcting the system malfunctions.
  • Debugging and testing of the system is at ease than other software prototyping techniques.
  • Delivery of the primary prototype is cheaper and faster.
  • The consumer can react to features and evaluate the product for any necessary modifications.

Cons of Incremental Prototyping

  • Subsequent expense can exceed developing cost.
  • The desired prototype may be uncreated hence problems may arise from the system structural design.
  1. Dynamic systems development technique

Used as one of the software prototyping techniques, dynamic systems development technique is a nimble development distribution structure. Its release was initially in 1994 to offer correction to rapid prototyping. Apart from it being applicable in the IT sector, it is also useful in non-It sectors.

A group of experts and vendors from software engineering invented dynamic systems development technique. The discovery of this technique was to help rapid prototyping evolve.

Dynamic Systems Development Technique Atern.

For a successful process, you need following certain principles to achieve the desired outcome. The following is the principles of dynamic system development atern:

  • Put emphasis on the business requirements.
  • Supply the products on time.
  • Produce high-quality products.
  • Communication should be constant.
  • Establish control.

With the development of this technique, you need having the following people if you are using dynamic system development technique. They include:

  • Specialist roles like the quality manager, system integrator, and business planner.
  • In charge of collecting and recording necessities, verdicts and contracts.
  • Technical coordinator.
  • Solution Developer.
  • Project Manager.
  • Team Leader.
  • Solution Tester.

Many companies due to its unique prototyping properties have embraced dynamic system development technique. Hence, if you have a prototyping company consider using this software prototyping technique.

Also, dynamic system development technique has four categories such as:

  • Capable/Procedural prototypes
  • Business prototypes
  • Functional prototypes
  • Performing and high capability prototypes.

Dynamic system development technique, lifecycles is as follows:

  • Ascertain the prototype.
  • Approve a strategy.
  • Generate the prototype.
  • Evaluate the prototype.
  1. Throwaway Prototyping

Also identified as close-ended or rapid prototyping. Throwaway prototyping is the formation of a model that will not form part of the final prototype/system. The use of this prototyping technique is to show the users on the ways the actual system will look like and work.

Throwaway prototyping accomplishment is by building part of the prototype to carry the necessary investigation of the system before creating the final system. This technique is good because you can create the prototype faster and get the desired outcome in a timely manner.

Currently, manufacturers are trying getting rid of the expenses they incur creating a new system or a prototype of a product. Hence, if you are looking for the best software prototyping technique I think you should consider using throwaway prototyping.

Stages of Throwaway Prototyping

For you to create a good throwaway prototype, you should follow these simple stages of throwaway prototyping.

  • Know the necessities and materials for use.
  • Plan
  • Application, prototyping, and authentication.
  • Prototype improvement and modifications.

Pros of Throwaway Prototyping

  • Throwaway prototyping is cheaper than other techniques
  • You can detect a problem with the prototype at an earlier stage.
  • The final throwaway prototype will be able to work efficiently.

Cons of Throwaway Prototyping

  • One can confuse the parts of the prototype while creating the final prototype.
  • Since this technique is fast, you will not have enough time to do a deeper analysis of the prototype hence the final product may have some defects.

If you are looking for the best software prototyping technique, you should use throwaway prototyping to create the best products for your consumers. I would like to vouch for this technique when you are creating a complex prototype.


The software techniques allow the developer and the user to be in touch hence be able to create a functional prototype to the desires of the user. Therefore, these prototyping techniques are of great essence to your prototype manufacturing company and you should consider using them.

Sketching & Paper Prototyping Technique

I know many are asking themselves what paper prototyping is. Paper prototyping is a procedure used to increase the user’s involvement of a website. This technique encompasses the creation of rough, handy sketches and illustrations of an interface used as a prototype of a plan. Paper prototyping is much easier and it can bring better ideas resulting in the best product design.

Paper Prototyping Technique

Paper prototyping invention was in the mid-1980s and became popular in the 1990s after companies such Microsoft, IBM, Honeywell, and others commenced using this method in their product development. Currently, usability professionals are widely using paper prototyping. Companies such as Pidoco are advocating for the use of digital paper prototyping due to its litheness and cost-effectiveness.

Paper prototyping application is simple. All you are required is a paper, marker pen, and several adhesive notes. Many about are worried of drawing but I know everyone is capable to draw, so let drawing not worry you.

Execution of Paper Prototyping Technique

Many of you think paper prototyping execution is difficult but let me a sure you that it is the simplest thing to do. Before executing you should have more than one person. This is the following procedures used in executing this technique:

  • You have to sit down in front of a graphical user interface paper and ensuring that they are interacting with it.
  • Then the end-user is given a particular task while the observers take summaries.
  • Possibly a camera may be used in recording as the procedure continues.

It is also important to note that during executing paper prototyping ideas need to create faster and assessed within a short period.  Also, the following are necessary during application:

  1. Usability Test

Paper prototyping technique can be used for a usability test with real people. This test requires the user to completely interact by performing a genuine task. This helps to determine the user’s issues early in the design process. Notably, there are three methods used in usability testing. They include;

  • Compositions
  • Wireframes
  • Storyboards

Compositions are visual representations, majorly of websites, that show several features of the interface including logos, fonts, and colors. A wireframe is used in demonstration of the interface’s page layout. Finally, storyboards are images used in the demonstration on how the interface works. These methods are important and can be used in making of paper prototypes.

  1. Design Testing Design Testing

Paper prototyping is more useful in web designing. A highly-fidelity design mockup of a page is printed and presented to a user. The user is asked to pinpoint the key steering, clickable elements and many other features in the design.

  1. Information Architecture

Paper prototype general application leads to information architecture of a software or a website testing. Users undertaking the test are asked if they can a certain the functionality or settings of either the website or software. More often this method it produces many correct answers which can be further improved on.

Information Architecture

Pros of Paper Prototyping

According to the ultimate guide to prototyping, paper prototyping has the following advantages:

  • Slight Learning Curve

Anyone is capable of sketching, this makes paper prototyping a great way to interact other departments such as participation of stakeholders, marketing, or expansion.

  • Cheap

All the tools used in paper prototyping are more affordable hence does not need much money.

  • Team Building

You should not underrate the importance of art and craft in the business surroundings. Sketching, cutting and pasting together can build a united team and raise morale.

  • Quick Repetition

During paper prototyping, an individual can sketch as many drawing as possible while throwing them without wastage of time.

  • Spontaneous Filing

Paper prototypes are touchable documents. Notes are written during documentation of the various sketches to act as reminders of what was being done.

Cons of Paper Prototyping

  • Incorrect Response

What should you possess for a good paper prototype? Ideal imagination is the key to a good product, but all this can be lost when prototyping. This can lead to feedbacks that do not reflect your desired prototype.

  • Additional Steps

Is paper prototyping essential? Today most users are prototyping using applications which are faster. They prefer these to paper prototyping because you only spend less time, hence many users see paper prototyping as time wasting.

Best Time for Paper Prototyping

Paper prototyping has received a lot of criticism from Google Ventures’ Jake Knapp. But Knapp later admits that paper prototyping is important in design.

Apart from its simplicity, automatic filling and speed make paper prototyping best suited for testing new designs than other forms of prototyping.

Best Time for Paper Prototyping

When is paper prototypes ultimate?  When presenting your designs on a board meeting paper prototyping is more applicable. Also when beginning a usability test. Btu as you move further in designing, paper prototyping becomes less operational. The exemption is when you are looking for a different experimental deviation in the advanced stages.

Best Paper Prototyping Resources

Here are the best resources and tools that can help you in paper prototyping.

  • Prototyping on Paper – prototyping on paper permits creators to add interactivity to current photos of drawings but particular for smartphone applications.
  • Sneakpeekit – Outlines downloadable in different devices.
  • UXPin – Our joint UX application permits you to upload photos of the paper prototype, improve fast interactions, and then a get response from remote team affiliates.
  • UI Stencil – An electronic store committed to paper prototyping properties, comprising stencils of common icons, pads, instruction books, and fixtures.
  • Paper prototyping written by Carol Snyder – This is one of the best books on paper prototyping.


If you are starting a project I think paper prototyping is the best tool to use. Paper prototyping helps much concerning user interface design. The use of paper prototyping is so fast and is cost-effective, even when leading tests. Before discovering paper prototyping we had incurred a lot of losses using other complex forms of prototyping.

This technique is beneficial regarding that it has no impact on the ultimate graphic design of the graphical user interface. Paper prototyping is actual rather than being fascinating and practical for day to day businesses.


Rough vs Polished Prototype: What is Your Best Option?

You have an idea for a new or improved product and you want to get an idea of how it will be received by the public. You’re ready to create a prototype, get feedback and move forward with your project. But, should you go with a rough prototype or a more polished prototype? The answer to this question depends on your plans for your product.

What is the Purpose of Your Prototype?

Is your product a component of another piece? Is what it looks like as important as what it does? If you are trying to prove that your product functions as it should, then a rough prototype will be the best option. A rough prototype can be reworked and redesigned if there are mechanical or design flaws1. Aesthetics, on the other hand, may be as important as function if the product will be purchased based on looks as well as function. In this case, a polished prototype may be the way to go.

What is the Purpose of Your Prototype

Who is Your Audience/Customer?

Are you talking to potential customers or end users? Or are you pitching your product to potential investors? Customers may be more interested in whether your product works as it should and less interested in what it will look like as a finished product, so a rough prototype is appropriate. For end users, knowing that you have a viable idea is more important than seeing a pretty object1. Potential investors may want both, seeing that a product works and what the final aesthetics will be. Investors want to know that their money is going to help create a workable product that will be popular with customers and end users, so a polished prototype would be the best option2. Customers want a product that works, and aesthetics can come later. Therefore, your audience will help determine whether to use a rough vs a polished prototype.

Who is Your Audience/Customer?

What Type of Feedback Are You Looking For?

Do you want to know if the product functions as you want it to? Are there design flaws or mechanical problems that need to be addressed before full production? If this type of feedback is what you’re looking for, a rough prototype is the place to start. With a rough prototype you can test function and design features before putting the product through full production. If there are issues with the rough prototype, you can start over and make changes to the design or function, saving time and money in future production delays and waste3.

Do you want to know if your product will be popular with the public? Does your product make potential customers say “Yeah, I want one of those!”? If this is the type of feedback you’re looking for, a polished prototype may be what you need. With a polished prototype you can find out if potential customers would want the product as is or whether the customer would prefer some changes be made. When a potential customer sees a functioning, aesthetically pleasing prototype, they will be more likely to provide feedback that lets you know if your product is desirable enough to purchase. Choosing a rough vs polished prototype is important in gaining the correct feedback for your product2.

What Type of Feedback Are You Looking For? Do you want to know if the product functions as you want it to? Are there design flaws or mechanical problems that need to be addressed before full production? If this type of feedback is what you’re looking for, a rough prototype is the place to start. With a rough prototype you can test function and design features before putting the product through full production. If there are issues with the rough prototype, you can start over and make changes to the design or function, saving time and money in future production delays and waste3. Do you want to know if your product will be popular with the public? Does your product make potential customers say “Yeah, I want one of those!”? If this is the type of feedback you’re looking for, a polished prototype may be what you need. With a polished prototype you can find out if potential customers would want the product as is or whether the customer would prefer some changes be made. When a potential customer sees a functioning, aesthetically pleasing prototype, they will be more likely to provide feedback that lets you know if your product is desirable enough to purchase. Choosing a rough vs polished prototype is important in gaining the correct feedback for your product2.

When using a rough prototype, you will most likely get more open feedback. A rough prototype also allows you to determine if the product is working as expected or if you need to make structural or design changes. Each type of prototype will garner different feedback depending on your audience. A polished prototype may confuse your audience into thinking the prototype is the finished product. Be sure to emphasize the difference between the two types of prototype with your audience to ensure you get the correct type of feedback3. Prototypes are very advantageous for production of a well-functioning product that will satisfy both investors and end users. Determining rough vs polished prototype is an important decision, so know what outcome you are looking for when making that decision.



  1. Clarity- https://clarity.fm/questions/247/answers/275
  2. Quora- https://www.quora.com/Is-a-rough-prototype-better-than-a-polished-prototype
  3. Wellesley- http://cs.wellesley.edu/~cs215/Lectures/L13-SpecsStoryboard/CS215-prototyping.pdf

5 Technologies to Prototype Your New Electronic Hardware Product

Do you have an idea for a new electronic hardware product and are wondering how to get started with producing it? The best way to get a product started is to create a prototype, sometimes more than one. There are various methods of creating a prototype. The first two technologies in this article work for the electronics part of your product and the other three technologies are methods for producing a prototype for the casing of your product.

Electronic Development Kits

One of the simplest ways to prototype your new electronic hardware product is to use electronic development kits (EDK). Electronic development kits are boards that you can use to create a program or application or to evaluate how your product will perform1. EDKs can range in price from under $50 to $150 or more, depending on the features of the kit’s board2.

Development kits can be used in many areas. Applications include automotive, imaging, communications, and audio. Other applications include wireless, RFID, and motor controls. On the lower price end, function may be limited. At the higher price range, however, features could include USB ports, video or ethernet connections and higher pin counts. Others on the pricier end, like the Adafruit Flora, can be used to add LEDs to clothing, such as shirts, hats, and jackets, or can be controlled by smartphone apps and Bluetooth2. With EDKs you can create your own proof-of-concept prototype to get an idea of how your product will perform and gather interest from potential investors.

Adafruit Flora Board
Adafruit Flora Board

Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)

Another way to prototype your new electronic hardware product is to use breadboards, perfboards, and/or printed circuit boards or PCBs. Breadboards can be used to quickly try out your electronic hardware idea and make sure it works. Perfboards are rigid sheets with holes to which you add components, such as resistors or integrated circuits, by soldering3.  PCBs take longer and require a bit more effort, but are more permanent and look better. You can use breadboards and perfboards to test your design and determine if any improvements are necessary. Depending on the design and function of your product, the more permanent PCB can be used as your final product in some cases4.

Breadboard, Perfboard, PCB
Breadboard, Perfboard, PCB


Stereolithography (SLA)

A third method of prototyping your new electronic hardware product is a type of 3D printing known as stereolithography. A stereolithography apparatus (SLA) is a machine that uses light to harden a liquid plastic into detailed, professional looking prototypes or products. The photopolymerization process produces strong, durable prototypes because of the chemical bonds created between the plastic layers5. SLA is a quick and relatively inexpensive method to create accurately shaped pieces, even when the pieces have an odd shape or intricate designs.

SLA machines are more expensive than the desktop type 3D printers and can cost in the thousands of dollars5. If you don’t have the budget to purchase an SLA you can hire one of several online companies to produce the prototype for you.


CNC Machining

A fourth approach to prototyping your product is CNC machining.  3D printing or SLA production are additive processes while CNC machining is a subtractive process. CNC machines start with a block of metal or plastic and then use tools controlled by a computer to precisely remove material to form the product6. Creating a prototype with this method can be done faster, cheaper and with more precision.

The advantages of CNC machining are a stronger product since the part is cut from a solid piece of material and the part can be created from metal or plastic. CNC prototypes can also be created from the same material used in the injection-molding process, allowing movement into high volume production without the need to produce another prototype6.


Injection Molding

A final method of prototyping your new electronic hardware product is injection molding. Injection molding consists of creating a mold of your product and injecting, at a high pressure, liquid plastic into the mold. The intricate detail of the part is created by the high pressure used to inject the plastic. Injection molding is the best method to produce a high quality, detailed, prototype that will be identical to the finished product7.

Starting with lower cost metal molds, like aluminum will save money on your prototype. Once your production volume rises, move to stronger steels to create your molds.

Injection molding
Injection molding

Learning about the above technologies can allow you to find the best method to create your prototypes. Creating good prototypes helps you to refine your product design, determine the best production methods, and find the right investors if needed. The 5 technologies for prototyping your new electronic hardware product listed here can help you do all those things and ensure you bring a well-crafted product to market.



  1. Future Electronics- http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/development-tools/dev-tool-hardware.aspx
  2. Hackaday- https://hackaday.com/2011/02/01/what-development-board-to-use/
  3. Quora– https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-PCBs-and-breadboards
  4. Medium- https://medium.com/@rxseger/notes-on-prototyping-circuit-boards-c5906e637123
  5. LiveScience- https://www.livescience.com/38190-stereolithography.html
  6. Product Development Solutions- http://www.1pds.com/implementing-rapid-prototyping-using-cnc-machining/
  7. Revpart- https://revpart.com/services/molding-services/silicone-rubber-molding/

7 Benefits of Prototypes in Manufacturing

Do you have a business dream you want to bring to life? Or maybe you already have a business that you want to expand with new products. Do you think using prototypes to obtain funding or garner enthusiasm for your product may be a good idea, but aren’t sure if the costs outweigh the benefits? Here is a list of 7 benefits of prototypes and a possible way to bring down the costs of their production.

What is a prototype?

All types of industries use prototypes, but in manufacturing a prototype is typically an early model of a product used to develop aspects of the actual finished product. Prototypes provide proof a design is viable and an idea of the aesthetics of the design. Prototypes also provide information on production techniques, materials, and costs. Prototypes allow you to receive feedback from stakeholders, such as distributors, retailers and customers.

Categories of prototypes

There are several categories of prototypes that provide feedback during different stages of manufacturing. Each category has a different function and look. Prototypes can be made from different materials, on a different scale, and with a different appearance than the intended finished product. The benefit of each prototype also differs.

One category is the Proof of Concept prototype that tests design function of a product without full functionality6. This prototype determines if the materials and the product perform as they should. A benefit of this prototype is it allows you to make design changes before the manufacturing process starts, saving time and money.

Camera Obscura: Test of Concept 1(John Pearson)
Camera Obscura: Test of Concept 1(John Pearson)

A Visual prototype does what it sounds like. This prototype shows the size and appearance of the finished product, but not the functionality of the product5. A Visual prototype is used in marketing for ads and packaging. Part of this category is the Form Study prototype which emphasizes the design’s geometric features, but not other aspects such as color or texture6.

A Working prototype provides the functionality of the finished product, but not the final appearance of the design6. This prototype determines if the final product will function as it should. This prototype makes it possible for you to change the design to improve functionality.

A User Experience prototype has enough of the final product’s appearance and function to be used for end-user research6. This allows for consumer testing to determine if the product is user-friendly and satisfactory for the end-user. The benefit of this prototype is in allowing you to see how customers are going to interact with the product. Data from this type of prototype research provides the opportunity to make improvements for customer satisfaction.

A Functional prototype has the full appearance and functionality of the final product6. However, this prototype may be made with different materials and techniques than the final product. Possibly even on a different scale than the finished product to save on production costs. The Functional prototype is often employed to obtain funding for production.

Dyson Prototype
Dyson Prototype

What are the benefits of prototypes?

Prototypes provide many benefits to you. Everything from basic design to end-user satisfaction can be benefited by use of prototypes. Several of the benefits of prototypes include2:

  • Early discovery of design problems
  • Estimate production costs, manufacturing time, and requirements for materials
  • Determine machinery necessary for production
  • Testing to determine fit and durability
  • Receive feedback from client and end-users/identify improvements
  • Determine final function and design
  • Aid in obtaining funding and investors

The first benefit of prototypes is determining design problems and other manufacturing issues. Early detection can avoid issues further down the road during manufacturing, limiting costs of waste and reproduction of flawed parts.

Prototypes aid in estimating material requirements and costs. Prototypes also aid in determining manufacturing time and personnel requirements. These elements help you to acquire funding, create budgets, and determine the final cost of the product4.

Can the product be produced with existing machinery? Are adaptations necessary to manufacture the product? Is it necessary to purchase new machinery? Creating prototypes helps you to determine if any adaptations to current machinery, or new machinery, is needed for production.

When making assembly parts, creating a prototype makes it possible to determine if the fit of the parts is correct. This saves money in time lost to rework and the cost of wasted materials. Prototypes also help determine if the materials used are durable and capable of withstanding the wear and tear of use.

Another benefit of prototypes is the ability to receive feedback from clients, distributors, and customers. Feedback such as this helps determine the final function and design of the product4. Customer research and feedback helps to create customer satisfaction and provide you with confidence in the product’s marketability.

Are there disadvantages?

One of the main disadvantages mentioned by developers and manufacturers is the cost of creating prototypes. According to Tamara Monosoff in “Entrepreneur” magazine, prototypes in the United States can cost “from $10,000 to $100,000”3. However, a recent process called rapid prototyping, can save you thousands of dollars1. Rapid processing uses 3D printers to create prototypes quickly and for just a few hundred dollars compared to thousands.

A 3D printer can run between $200 to $2500 or more, depending on the size and purpose. Material for printing can be plastic or metal. The cost for printing plastic can be as low as $25 per kg to more than $48 per kg. Therefore, even purchasing on the high end could save you thousands of dollars in prototype creation. If you don’t want to purchase a 3D printer, there are companies that will do the work for you.


The benefits of prototypes are many and can be used in almost any business environment. With the variety of prototypes available you can find the one that will suit your needs. Whether you need to identify production issues, improve design elements and functionality, estimate costs, conduct research or obtain funding, there is a prototype to help. New technologies, like 3D printing, help to bring down costs and make prototyping available to almost any business or budget. Overall, now would be the time to take advantage of the benefits of prototyping and technological advances for your business.


Prototype Sources

1.Rapid prototyping – http://www.efunda.com/processes/rapid_prototyping/intro.cfm

2.Advantages of prototype development – https://www2.dmst.aueb.gr/dds/etech/swdev/prototype.htm

3.Creating a product prototype – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/80678

4.What is a production prototype? – http://leardon.com/what-is-a-production-prototype

5.Prototype manufacturing and design – https://www.innovate-design.com/prototyping-process-2/

6.General categories – https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/engineering-consulting/general-prototypes

Difference Between Evolutionary Prototyping and Throw-away Prototyping

The prototype converts industrial ideas to concrete realities. A highly trained professional team will adopt your entrepreneur idea specifications and sketch your ideas using the latest CAD technology. Next, with the help of computer simulation, these CAD drawings are transformed into a prototype which is an exact copy of the final product.

Prototyping helps you get an accurate and complete working model of innovation, adjust the weight of several different options, adjust them, and ultimately create the perfect design.

Evolutionary Prototyping

In evolutionary prototyping, the concept of the system will be developed as the project progresses. First of all, we will develop the most visual aspect of the system. You present a portion of the system to the customer and continue to develop prototypes based on the feedback received. At some point, you and the customer agree that the prototype is “good enough” and release the prototype as the final product.

It is may be best suited for business systems where developers can interact frequently and informally with end users. However, it is suitable for commercial, shrink wrap, and system projects as long as end-user involvement is obtained. Communication with users of these projects is generally more structured and formal.

If evolved prototyping does not provide more control than is necessary or if you already know what the system should do, you can use evolutionary delivery or gradual delivery instead.

Evolutionary Prototyping Model
Evolutionary Prototyping Model

Advantages of Evolutionary Prototyping

  • It’s useful for exploratory programming, such as Artificial Intelligence applications, where it is difficult to frame specifications.
  • If big problems are anticipated, developers can stop development after several iterations.
  • This model is very suitable for research projects. For example, in order to develop software for automatic speech recognition, it is possible to take a small vocabulary and develop a system. After successful, you can gradually increase your vocabulary. This approach is superior to starting the development of an unlimited vocabulary speech recognition system directly (I recognize it is very difficult in two years).

Disadvantages of Evolutionary Development Model

  • As the project is open-ended, no time frame is able to be set.
  • It is difficult to monitor the project.
  • The visibility is low compared to the waterfall model.


ThrowAway Prototyping

The throw-away prototype is cheap, fast ones, which is designed to model an idea or feature. They are commonly used in early phases of design when a large number of ideas are still being considered. throw-away prototypes may also be used in late stage design in industries in which products are launched at a low state of refinement.

The throw-away prototype sounds like what it is. You make a prototype, then when you are done with it, you abandon it. For example, you and your colleagues go to lunch, you come up with an idea of the new product. When you discuss the idea, write down the idea and pull out the original design of the paper napkin. When you return to the office, take out the prototype of the paper napkin and transfer it to your computer. You throw out the napkin. In that case, the napkin is considered a thrown away prototype.

The throw-away approach is most appropriate in the project acquisition stage, where prototypes demonstrate the feasibility of new concepts and convince potential sponsors to fund the proposed development projects. In this situation, available resources are limited and the ability to convey the benefits of a new approach with a very low-cost demonstration is essential to create a new project.

You can also skip or omit the throwaway code document. If this trial is not recorded, lessons learned from prototyping efforts may be lost, and without the documentation or deterioration of the initial design simplification, progress in prototypes is hampered and customer needs Regarding the scope of prototype effort. The throw-away approach can be a drawback for insufficient level of technology and is best suited for rough system mockups used very early in the project.

Throw-away Prototyping Model
Throw-away Prototyping Model

Advantages of Throw Away Prototyping

  • Save time and money
  • Promote consistency of user interface design
  • Enable early customer engagement
  • Show concrete ways to show and believe in management to management. Instead of telling the administrator
  • Marketers and planners guarantee that customer needs are met.

Disadvantages of Rapid Prototyping

  • User confusion for prototypes and completed systems
  • Excessive development time of the prototype
  • Normally it does not generate reusable code
  • The development process slows down when placed under formal configuration control
  • There is no clear stop point

Hardware Prototype Construction Manual

Technologies and tools you can use to launch your hardware startup

One of the first and most difficult challenges for a hardware startup is the construction of the prototype. As iteration and prototype improvement are critical with every startups. It’s not easy or cheap as launching a software startup. For a long time, it was so expensive that only very feel people can afford a hardware startup.

Thankfully all this is developing fast. It’s more than theory or prediction: a number of new hardware companies have shown it, such as Narrative, Myo and Misfit.

To create your hardware prototype, what are some new technologies and tools you can use? Here is the top 5 of mine (in no particular order).

1. 3D printing – economic and rapid prototyping

Comparing with injection molding, using 3D printing, you can quickly manufacture a prototype at a low cost. You would need to use CAD(Computer Aided Design) software to draw a digital model, basing on which the model would be printed layer by layer.

These days, it’s easily to buy a desktop 3D printer for a fair price. If you own one, you can make prototypes even in your home. It’s not necessarily to buy one though.

Stereolithography 3D printer
Stereolithography 3D printer

As the estimation, there are approximately 100,000 3D printers worldwide. It is very likely that someone in your city actually has one. Try to check this on 3D hubs.

3D Hubs is one of the world's largest networks of 3D printers with more than 1,900 print locations in 300 cities.
3D Hubs, one of the largest 3D printers networks with more than 1,900 locations in 300 cities.

Today’s desktop 3D printer mainly uses plastic and resin. If you have other need of materials, You can try looking for help from online 3D Printing Service who can offer industrial printers.

2. Use affordable easy-programming microcontrollers

Last Christmas, my friend brought me the Arduino Starter Kit. Arduino is an open source prototype platform for creating interactive electronic objects.

Getting started with my Arduino
My Arduino

Many hardware ventures today have built their prototypes with Arduino. It’s easy to learn even if you do not have an electrical background or basic programming skills. In fact, kids can do it too, and many people can do it.

What kind of prototype can I make with Arduino? Below is an example, a DIY cell-phone:

DYI Mobile-phone on Instructables.com
DIY Cell-phone

The work is rough, yet it’s amazing that you can create something like that by yourself.

Besides Arduino, there are many great platforms such as Raspberry Pie, TinyDuino, etc. Over the past few years, when you’ve been looking at the Kickstarter hardware project, you’ll notice that many new microcontrollers will be released. This provides many tools to make your prototype easily and at low cost.

3. Sensors!

You may going to connect sensors to the microcontroller. Online shops like SparkFun and Adafruit make it easy to purchase all sorts of smartphone sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, lights and touch sensors.

SparkFun has brought open-source electronics to a whole new level. We announce new batches every week in our product showcase. Like a fashion show of the latest electronics.

SparkFun's Friday Product Show
SparkFun’s Friday Product Show

4. Custom circuit on paper

Basicly, the fastest way to build a prototype circuit is the breadboard:

Typical breadboard. Much easier than soldering, but it can be improved.
A Breadboard.

People who use breadboards will find it a bit of a laugh. Fortunately, new tools are being developed.

If you want to make your circuit very fast, you can draw it on paper with Circuit Scribe. Amazingly, you can sit around the table with the team and create circuit and test ideas.

Circuit Scribe is a roller ballpoint pen with conductive silver ink. It creates an easy circuit like graffiti.
Circuit Scribe

If you want to make a more robust circuit or embed it in different kinds of materials, you can order the EX circuit printer in advance. As you can see in the example below, you can do amazing things like fabric printed circuit.

With EX, you can print easily and quickly, just as you would a photo, so you can print with the materials you want.
EX circuit printer

5. Configure the appropriate team before creating the prototype.

As you may notice, building hardware prototypes requires a comprehensive team with knowledge in areas such as design, programming, and electrical engineering. Even if you have experience in several filed, it is difficult to do everything just by yourself. You may need to configure your team to expand your start.

Finding the right people for hardware startup may be more difficult than starting the software. Fortunately, there are more than enough online communities that are already dependent.

Considering creating prototypes? Share your thoughts with us.