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Shall I make the prototype myself? / Some good, trusted companies in the U.K?

Simple Product Prototype -

  • Make myself and test the market

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Get prototype made professionally

    Votes: 4 100.0%

  • Total voters
    4

Sully David

New Contributor
Feb 15, 2019
6
5
13
So, I think I've thought of an invention after following the advise in Un-scripted - (when you notice a problem / predicament / something that doesn't exist yet, then ACT!)

The invention(product) is fairly simple in design (with range options) and I imagine easy to manufacture and produce - also good value for money.

The product is made out of plastic and I believe a prototype to see the workability and sturdiness of this product would be easy to make at home.
Obviously, if and when this gets taken to market I will need a 'proper' prototype - can anyone recommend good prototype makers in the U.K?
Should I wait and just get the 'proper' prototype done professionally?
Or, should I build the product myself - to my best ability and test the market through the channels of eBay / Local etc?

Any help would be fantastic and greatly appreciated
 

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maverick

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Draw up your idea using whatever makes it easiest for you to explain the idea to somebody else (e.g. a word doc, a UI design on balsamiq, or simply drawing it on paper).

Find a 3d modeler - you can look on Upwork for this. I suggest you don't pick the cheapest proposal you get but to do some proper due diligence on the modeler. Paying for quality is advised here.

Send the 3d model to a 3d printing company near you. Get them to 3d print the material and send it to your home address.

Assemble it yourself (if needed).

Find your target audience and get them to try the product. Use their feedback to improve.
 

Eskil

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Like @maverick said, 3D printing sounds like your best option starting out, assuming the product doesn't require to be heavy duty or take physical stress. (3D prints can be brittle and are best suited for visual prototypes, or low to moderate pressure/mechanical movement).

If you have access to basic tools and a place to work with them, using materials like wood can also be a good alternative.

When you get to the point where you have proven the prototype and validated the market, re-think the design of your prototype (even if you think you've "nailed it"), and look at it from a mass production perspective. How can it be manufactured or molded in large quantities with maximum efficiency and low cost. This process is known as DFM, or Design For Manufacturing.
 

maverick

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To add to @Eskil' point:
Breakdown your product into smaller components and use pattern matching to identify off-the-shelf components used in other industries that you could use/apply in your product.

Good example for this is the story of an entrepreneur in UK who wanted to sell television satellite dishes. He asked for a quote from a dish manufacturer that came back with a ridiculous quote. He then challenged his engineers to use a dustbin cover as the basis of the dish and to come up with ways to create a satellite dish from that.

Story can be found here:
A blogpost charting the role of Mr Alan Sugar in the success of Sky TV
 
OP
OP

Sully David

New Contributor
Feb 15, 2019
6
5
13
Draw up your idea using whatever makes it easiest for you to explain the idea to somebody else (e.g. a word doc, a UI design on balsamiq, or simply drawing it on paper).

Find a 3d modeler - you can look on Upwork for this. I suggest you don't pick the cheapest proposal you get but to do some proper due diligence on the modeler. Paying for quality is advised here.

Send the 3d model to a 3d printing company near you. Get them to 3d print the material and send it to your home address.

Assemble it yourself (if needed).

Find your target audience and get them to try the product. Use their feedback to improve.

Great advice, just what I needed! Thanks for your help, Maverick!

Sully
 
OP
OP

Sully David

New Contributor
Feb 15, 2019
6
5
13
Like @maverick said, 3D printing sounds like your best option starting out, assuming the product doesn't require to be heavy duty or take physical stress. (3D prints can be brittle and are best suited for visual prototypes, or low to moderate pressure/mechanical movement).

If you have access to basic tools and a place to work with them, using materials like wood can also be a good alternative.

When you get to the point where you have proven the prototype and validated the market, re-think the design of your prototype (even if you think you've "nailed it"), and look at it from a mass production perspective. How can it be manufactured or molded in large quantities with maximum efficiency and low cost. This process is known as DFM, or Design For Manufacturing.
Again, fantastic advice that I will be putting into practice. This community is great, and your advise is second to none. Thank you!

Sully
 
OP
OP

Sully David

New Contributor
Feb 15, 2019
6
5
13
To add to @Eskil' point:
Breakdown your product into smaller components and use pattern matching to identify off-the-shelf components used in other industries that you could use/apply in your product.

Good example for this is the story of an entrepreneur in UK who wanted to sell television satellite dishes. He asked for a quote from a dish manufacturer that came back with a ridiculous quote. He then challenged his engineers to use a dustbin cover as the basis of the dish and to come up with ways to create a satellite dish from that.

Story can be found here:
A blogpost charting the role of Mr Alan Sugar in the success of Sky TV

If the product is a one-piece design would you still suggest to divide it up into sections? - I didn't think about doing this but, this could actually make for easier end customer usability.

I am a huge fan of Alan Sugar - I will be reading this story! - Thank you


Sully
 

Tiber

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Draw up your idea using whatever makes it easiest for you to explain the idea to somebody else (e.g. a word doc, a UI design on balsamiq, or simply drawing it on paper).

Find a 3d modeler - you can look on Upwork for this. I suggest you don't pick the cheapest proposal you get but to do some proper due diligence on the modeler. Paying for quality is advised here.

Send the 3d model to a 3d printing company near you. Get them to 3d print the material and send it to your home address.

Assemble it yourself (if needed).

Find your target audience and get them to try the product. Use their feedback to improve.
How do you ensure no one on that site will steal your idea, or sell your design to another after they've designed it for you... Is there NDA options?
 

B. Cole

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How do you ensure no one on that site will steal your idea, or sell your design to another after they've designed it for you... Is there NDA options?
You can mitigate this risk to a point, but remember - patent protection and disclosure agreements are only a license to fight. You’ll have to pursue and fund your own protection from any attempts at something you percievably own. I can only speak to the process from doing it in the US.

After exhausting all search efforts on the internet, on the USPTO (not sure what it is in the UK) website and on google patents, you should file a provisional patent application with the USPTO (again, insert organization and process for UK patents). It’s inexpensive and easy in the US at least. From there, you can claim patent pending status as you talk with manufacturers, design firms or anybody else.

Draft yourself a decent NDA, there are boiler plate NDA’s on IPwatchdog.com, I use a modified version for my own business. Your first communications to a place should be to the effect of “Hi, I’m Tiber, I’ve got a product I’m developing and wanted to see if you're interested in (insert what you need from them).

If they’re interested, vaguely describe the product, use analogies, vague purposes and materials but leave the detail out. Let them them know that it’s patent pending and ask if they’d be willing to sign your NDA so you can send them pictures, specs, blah de blah.

That’s the absolute best you can do. Beyond that, if somebody wants to be phallic, it’s up to you to defend it. Such is the risk of business. Your goal should be to re-file a more accurate provisional when your product develops beyond the scope of your original filing, or prepare and file for a full non-provisional patent before your provisional expires. Maintain at least Patent Pending status throughout its development.

Don’t forget to start up a progress thread!
 

maverick

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How do you ensure no one on that site will steal your idea, or sell your design to another after they've designed it for you... Is there NDA options?
If you're marginally improving an existing product (e.g. adding a feature to something that you know people want) then I wouldn't bother with patents.

If you're creating a step change, then I might file a provisional patent.

Ideas alone won't make it happen for you. Execution will be the differentiator.
 

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B. Cole

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So, I think I've thought of an invention after following the advise in Un-scripted - (when you notice a problem / predicament / something that doesn't exist yet, then ACT!)

The invention(product) is fairly simple in design (with range options) and I imagine easy to manufacture and produce - also good value for money.

The product is made out of plastic and I believe a prototype to see the workability and sturdiness of this product would be easy to make at home.
Obviously, if and when this gets taken to market I will need a 'proper' prototype - can anyone recommend good prototype makers in the U.K?
Should I wait and just get the 'proper' prototype done professionally?
Or, should I build the product myself - to my best ability and test the market through the channels of eBay / Local etc?

Any help would be fantastic and greatly appreciated
You can make some beautiful, finish quality products by silicone molding and plastic resin casting. Look on YouTube, tons of vids, you could even do small scale production to get a good feel for your market.

The tricky part is getting the first one made - the plug - which you will make your molds from. If it’s simple enough and your are handy, you can get air drying clay or soft melt plastic pellets and form your own. If it needs to be precise, or you have a little money, have someone do your cad files and get a 3D printed plug made to cast from.

Good luck, and be sure to start a progress thread so we can watch/help!
 
Last edited:

Tiber

New Contributor
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Feb 25, 2019
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United Kingdom
So, I think I've thought of an invention after following the advise in Un-scripted - (when you notice a problem / predicament / something that doesn't exist yet, then ACT!)

The invention(product) is fairly simple in design (with range options) and I imagine easy to manufacture and produce - also good value for money.

The product is made out of plastic and I believe a prototype to see the workability and sturdiness of this product would be easy to make at home.
Obviously, if and when this gets taken to market I will need a 'proper' prototype - can anyone recommend good prototype makers in the U.K?
Should I wait and just get the 'proper' prototype done professionally?
Or, should I build the product myself - to my best ability and test the market through the channels of eBay / Local etc?

Any help would be fantastic and greatly appreciated
As far as getting provisional patents and licensing look up Stephen Key's InventRight stuff. His two books are great (One simple Idea).
 

AlexVilch

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Not sure about companies in U.K, but a lot of people are looking at Canada right now for these type of services. You still get the quality of "tier 1" country, but you will be priced in CAD dollar which is much weaker than US or Pound.
 
Last edited:

iizu

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Not sure about companies in U.K, but a lot of people are looking at Canada right now for these type of services. You still get the quality of "tier 1" country, but you will be priced in CAD dollar which is much weaker than US or Pound.

We do similar services (mvp, prototypes, etc) reach out if you are willing to consider it.
I've always found it so funny and confusing when english speakers use the word product.

A product, for me, is something physical that you can touch and feel. A software or a service on a computer screen is - well - a software or a service.

Your post is the prime example of this confusion:
The OP wants to make a prototype of PHYSICAL PRODUCT and you're offering software development :D

Don't get me wrong, your company seems legit. It just has nothing to do with 3d printing, machining, injection molding etc.
 

AlexVilch

MVP Development || StartupServices.ca
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I've always found it so funny and confusing when english speakers use the word product.

A product, for me, is something physical that you can touch and feel. A software or a service on a computer screen is - well - a software or a service.

Your post is the prime example of this confusion:
The OP wants to make a prototype of PHYSICAL PRODUCT and you're offering software development :D

Don't get me wrong, your company seems legit. It just has nothing to do with 3d printing, machining, injection molding etc.
I agree. I believe I was intending to reply with a proposition to find companies in Canada to save money on the weak dollar and by habit added the "check us out". Happens when you work too much :) My bad.
 

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