Mel’s Ten Tips on Building a Prototype by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -
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Mel’s Ten Tips on Building a Prototype

After fruitful careers as a scientist and inventor I've gone back to what I love most - writing children's books Read More
  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Published Books 1551

Tip No.1


Don’t spend money! We tend to get carried away with our own ideas. Going to a professional prototype maker can cost a fortune. You don’t always get what you want. Very often you have to make changes later on. Do what you can for free, or just buy the very basic raw materials that you need to play around.


Tip No.2


Prototype building is fun and games. It’s adults playing around with plasticine, cardboard, glue and not being ridiculed. So treat it like a game. It should be. If you have children, include them in the process. They may be more creative than you are!



Tip No.3


Use whatever you have around the house. Buttons, pins, old keys, cardboard plastic bits, cords, fabrics, elastics (I particularly love springs and anything stretchy). Inventors tend to keep junk to use and re-use. Your collection of usable odds and ends will also give you ideas.


Tip No.4


Learn the skills you need for free, or almost free. Need to work with wood? Paint? To sodder or glue things? To cut glass? Arduinos? You can learn almost any Do It Yourself (DIY) skills over the internet. Including 3D printing.


Tip No.5


Think about who is going to use your product. How can you make it as simple as possible to understand and simple to use?


Tip No.6


Build your prototype to do one thing very well.


Tip No.7


If you are thinking of patenting your invention, don’t show it to anybody. Showing your idea with others before you protect it may be construed as sharing it in ‘the public domain’ which would void the patent in the US and elsewhere.


Tip No.8


Think about the manufacturing of the product you want to eventually create. Is it easy to manufacture? What material will it be made of at a later stage?



Tip No.9


Learn from the process. Most prototypes don’t pan out, and even when they do, it is rare that they result in the manufacture of a useful, competitive product (and that you, the inventor, benefit from it).  If at first you don’t succeed, brush the dust of your knees and get back to work.


Tip No.10


If you have good computer skills, create a virtual prototype first and a physical one later.



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