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Dear Sir/Madam,


I am looking for advice and direction from an experienced designer who has had exposure in the design process of new innovations and ideas.


I have an idea for a product that I want to launch into golfing market.


There are similar products available in the market: but my design is unique and different from these existing products which will ensure interest from potential customers.


I do not want to take the convential route to getting my idea developed/manufactured, because they seem very expensive.


I'm not fussed obtaining a patent or creating a prototype for testing and refinement purposes. Are prototypes neccessary for a fairly inexpensive product and concept that's made from rubber?


In a nutshell, I just want to know what are the basics requirements I need to approach a manufacturer to get my product made. Could I just take a 3D CAD with me and negotiate terms to get the product made or do I need to go down the conventional route.


If so could you advise what the conventional route/process is to an idea/innovation made?


What is rapid prototyping??

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Yes, I think you need to make a prototype for your test.


Rapid prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using additive manufacturing technology.Usually there are several kinds of


Prototyping technologies are available such as Stereolithography (SLA), Selective laser sintering (SLS), Laminated object manufacturing (LOM),


Fused deposition modeling (FDM).


Our company is specialized in rapid prototype. We can provide SLA product for you, and We can then use a CNC or SL master model to make a


silicone rubber mould and cast up to 20 off polyurethane parts.


For more information, you can visit our website: www.star-prototype.com

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If you cant afford the conventional route what makes you think you can afford production tooling etc?


If you intend to licence your idea or sell you idea that is another story, you may be able to just bring your idea to the concept stage and let whoever you sell it on to, to deal with manufacturing etc.


Just for arguments sake, your design will be injection moulded.

Even on a cheap mould say €20,000, can you afford one little mistake?

Can you afford to have a wall, or a rib not fill correctly?

Or not have an assy mate correctly?


Answer is probably no, as engineers who are required to tweak this are expensive.

You need as many prototypes as possible/affordable and necessary.


Start with a concept models-a simple form model and a simple function model to explain your ideas to your audience.

When you've got the req'd feedback to move closer to manufacture I'd suggest an alpha prototype, either using production methods/materials or close alternatives.


Prototypes will always throw up unexpected little problems, you'll always learn from them.


Best of luck with it

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By the way you definitely need a patent.

Patents are the first step to doing business, if you don't have one why wouldn't your manufacturer just take your idea for themselves?

Or why would they trust that you've not shown it to some else who has taken it?

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Congratulations on you new idea.


I would have no problem sharing a new idea with a manufacturer, on the basis you have found someone you trust, and have put in place and NDA, 'non-disclosure agreement'.


If it is a unique idea that no one has ever produced, then as Dastardly Dave mentioned, it may be a good idea to protect your intellectual property. Contacting a company such as http://patentfactory.co.uk/ would be a good start and they can do a search for you to tell you if you idea is unique or in anyway protectable.


However, you can spend a LOT of money and time protecting your intellectual property with patents. Another option is to get your idea to market fast and sell. If anyone later copies your idea, you were the original and got there first. (chances are even with a patent it will still get copied..!).


3D CAD is more than adequate to share with a manufacturer to gain information on costs for mass producing your product, a prototype is not neccesary.


However, as a matter of the design process, it is crucial to produce a prototype to prove out your design and test it works. It would be naive to jump straight into making tooling to mass produce a product without making a prototype. Infact, many manufactures would insist on a prototype being made first, and may even offer this service as part of their package.


The prototype can also be used as a communication tool used for marketing, sales and product packaging shots, all this is increddibly important, because you need to be determining market interest in your product and generating pre-sales for you product before the investment of mass producing it.


Rapid prototyping is a generic name of a method for making prototype models involving a computer controlled machine that makes your model. As opposed to more traditional hand-based model making techniques. Rapid prototypes are made directly from 3D CAD data, and are quick to produce, very accurate and can provide a model very representative of the final mass produced part. There are also prototyping methods that mimic rubber parts.


Feel free to send me a PM if you would like to know more.

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Rapid prototyping of a new idea is essential.


I design and manufacture my own products here in Egypt.


check out my products here.



I made many prototypes for the clothes peg because getting the size correct was extremely important.

I also made a prototype for the clothes hanger, I discovered later that this wasnt really necessary but these were my first two products so I was new to everything.


Then I started to design the dinnerware set, as these products are already existing in the market I decided not to make prototypes as it wouldnt give me any feedback on the size etc.

Also with the tray, I didnt make a prototype because it would not benefit me and would cost a lot.


So bottom line is, if your product is unique you need to make a prototype as you will learn a lot and you will probably modify your design when you see and feel the prototype.

With designs which are mainly styling its not too important.

Also if you are presenting a product to a client a prototype is essential to have a prototype so they have something 'real life' to see.

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