From your future logo to the actual product design, this is how to make a prototype of that invention you’ve been working on for years.

The number of patents filed each year continues to grow and was up 5.8% in 2017. Over half a million applications are submitted each year, but roughly half get accepted. This can happen because of similarities to existing patents or unclear descriptions.

Learning how to make a prototype is probably the best way to improve your success rate. A prototype will help distinguish your patent from others. It will also improve your ability to defend against knock-offs.

Turn your idea into a working prototype with these tips below.

Concept Art

Early sketches are useful for a number of reasons. Visualizing size, shape, and function of an invention is important for focus testing and pitches to investors. If needed, hire a visual artist to transfer your ideas onto paper.

Try to get as many variations in sketches as you can to help during styling and final designs. Save these concept sketches to provide proof when submitting a patent.

Digital Prototypes

The last step before building the prototype is to create digital blueprints. Start simple with Adobe Spark’s logo maker. Hire a digital artist and engineer to start building the design out in AutoCAD and 3D rendering software.

Digital prototypes can then be used with online press packages and marketing materials. Wait until your patent actually clears before sharing with the rest of the world, of course.

Physical Prototype

After everything is drawn out in AutoCAD, you can build your first physical prototype by yourself. It doesn’t need to have all the functionality of the real product. Having a physical placeholder is important for presentations.

If you’re not great at arts and crafts, you could commission a college student to help you build it. Don’t skip this stage unless you have a lot of capital or the physical shape is the same as a previous iteration.

Take It to a Manufacturer

It’s time to take your prototype blueprints to a manufacturer. You should order as many working prototypes as you can afford. Having spares allows for defects, losses, or accidental damage.

Once you have this build, it’s time to take your product to patent. Make sure you’ve done all the market testing necessary before filing.

How to Make a Prototype for Production

Knowing how to make a prototype for filing purposes is the fun part. The real challenge is making a product that is profitable on a large scale. This isn’t something the average person will intuitively know without help.

It’s a good idea to hire a professional prototype development team to get costs down. They will help build on your prototype and eliminate any unnecessary costs. You want to have the experience from both visual artists and engineers helping you with materials and market capture.

Translating a great idea into a working, fully-realized product is one of the hardest things to do. Look for more ideas and inspiration in our recent posts on our blog. Check back every week for new posts and new conversations.