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Is there a need to prototype? How? Is there well-worn/standard path?

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Mindshift

New Contributor
Jan 9, 2018
1
1
45
Seattle, WA
I have a lot of product ideas. That is a good problem to have. The one I suspect will be most profitable is for a change to part of the common equipment used by the military, search and rescue, and sometimes civilian enthusiasts.

It is a combination of products that, together, fulfill a need so well that people would be screaming "why didn't I think of that?" as much as they would ask "why would I ever use the old version of that ever again?"

My problem is that I have no idea how even to start. A 3D printer would absolutely not cover the creation of this particular product. Most of the ideas I have need metal with specific tolerances. I really need a way of understanding what lies ahead for making this work. Call person X for a paper design, then Y for prototype, the Z to demonstrate, then get the sale...or however it would work. Right now it is a mystery.

In one thread I read this:

Selling products to the military.
"I recommend you look into the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program. You might be able to get a government grant to finish the prototype to R&D phase."

Others discussed manufacturing, but I am not even close to that stage yet.
Locating manufacturers (prefereably not in China)
GOLD! - Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.

I could make a non-functioning prototype immediately by just using the traditional equipment and talking about how I'd like it to work. To make it fully functional would be a herculean effort on my part.

I don't know how to design this product (or anything) in CAD. How do I even search for someone who could make my own version with an NDA? I have the idea, but do I need to patent or do anything else first? I wish there were a "start here if you have zero knowledge of prototyping" thread to find but I did not see it in a search.

With so many ideas in my head I have to suspect at least one would make money. But how do I go from here to anywhere else? Is there a book that lays out the process of going from idea to prototype to bid to sale? I loved Millionaire Fastlane as a book and would like to become a proven case study but I am swimming in questions and unknowns. If I somehow missed the right threads, please point me to them. I know how unpleasant it is to have a newbie ask about a major thread that should have been required reading but I just couldn't find what I was looking for. I tried.

Thank you for your suggestions.
 
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Marigold

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 15, 2018
200
338
Glasgow & Malaga
I have a lot of product ideas. That is a good problem to have. The one I suspect will be most profitable is for a change to part of the common equipment used by the military, search and rescue, and sometimes civilian enthusiasts.

It is a combination of products that, together, fulfill a need so well that people would be screaming "why didn't I think of that?" as much as they would ask "why would I ever use the old version of that ever again?"

My problem is that I have no idea how even to start. A 3D printer would absolutely not cover the creation of this particular product. Most of the ideas I have need metal with specific tolerances. I really need a way of understanding what lies ahead for making this work. Call person X for a paper design, then Y for prototype, the Z to demonstrate, then get the sale...or however it would work. Right now it is a mystery.

In one thread I read this:

Selling products to the military.
"I recommend you look into the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program. You might be able to get a government grant to finish the prototype to R&D phase."

Others discussed manufacturing, but I am not even close to that stage yet.
Locating manufacturers (prefereably not in China)
GOLD! - Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.

I could make a non-functioning prototype immediately by just using the traditional equipment and talking about how I'd like it to work. To make it fully functional would be a herculean effort on my part.

I don't know how to design this product (or anything) in CAD. How do I even search for someone who could make my own version with an NDA? I have the idea, but do I need to patent or do anything else first? I wish there were a "start here if you have zero knowledge of prototyping" thread to find but I did not see it in a search.

With so many ideas in my head I have to suspect at least one would make money. But how do I go from here to anywhere else? Is there a book that lays out the process of going from idea to prototype to bid to sale? I loved Millionaire Fastlane as a book and would like to become a proven case study but I am swimming in questions and unknowns. If I somehow missed the right threads, please point me to them. I know how unpleasant it is to have a newbie ask about a major thread that should have been required reading but I just couldn't find what I was looking for. I tried.

Thank you for your suggestions.
Similar questions to you. I tried to draw my invention yesterday. Much hilarity. I don't have a clue how to engineer or put it together.

Have you got further in your quest?
 

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