China is one of the leading prototype service providers with hundreds of prototyping companies. A prototype is a partial or initial implementation of a product. It brings a concept to life and allows for a product to be tested and studied. In this write-up, we discuss the characteristics of a prototype.
Characteristics of a prototype
Note that different types of prototypes feature varying characteristics. However, there are some universal characteristics that every prototype must possess. These characteristics are:
As mentioned earlier, the role of a prototype is to act as a mock-up of a design. Therefore, one of the most essential characteristics of a prototype is representation. The product should be a good representation of the actual product. This way, it can be used for testing and deducing potential issues with the product. For this reason, prototyping companies work hard to ensure that the prototype looks exactly like the design. Representation does not only refer to the appearance of the product. It also refers to the way the product works. Note that another role of creating a prototype is to ensure that a product works the way it should.
A good prototype should also be highly precise. This means that elements like the size, shape, material quantity, and overall design should be precise. Precision allows for better response and feedback. It also makes it easy for the manufacturer or designer to make alterations after feedback has been given.
Additionally, a good prototype should be highly functional. This means that it should be able to achieve the purpose for which the product design was created. As mentioned before, a prototype should work like the design or product is meant. Therefore, the prototype should be able to perform the essential functions of the actual product.
Note that sometimes this may not be possible because of failures in the design and not the prototype. However, this is one of the reasons for creating prototypes. The product will be tested in such a case, and changes will be made to allow for functionality. Afterward, another prototype will be created and tested. Additionally, sometimes, the initial product mock-up is created to test the design and not the product’s functionality. In this case, this characteristic is not as important.
A good prototype can be improvised with the least amount of effort. This is important for the prototyping service provider since there may be some issues with creating the prototype. Sometimes, the designers do not account for all design elements when creating sketches for their ideas. Therefore, a prototype manufacturer has to improvise severally in an attempt to bring the concept to life. For this reason, a prototype is usually subject to several improvisations.
The characteristics mentioned above represent a good prototype. Therefore, when creating or hiring a company to make your prototype, you should look into some of the main things you should look into. Hiring a professional prototyping company will help you achieve these characteristics. Note that a prototype is generally considered complete if it features the elements named above.