09 May What are the advantages of rapid prototyping?
Did you enjoy our previous blog on the limitations of rapid prototyping? It is true that rapid prototyping has some limitations, but when compared with the advantages it provides, it is definitely worth it in terms of time and funds!
In today’s blog, we will be taking a closer look at the advantages and benefits of rapid prototyping, and how it can create winning outcomes for both industrial designers and their clients. First, let’s take a refresher on what rapid prototyping involves.
Rapid prototyping: a crucial part of the design process
Rapid prototyping can bring concrete ideas to life and show concepts that can lead to viable end products. These concrete items have the benefit of allowing people to interact with new products in real life, possibly also highlighting areas where improvements can be made.
Prototypes can be classified as either low-fidelity or high-fidelity. Low-fidelity implies basic models that serve as quick prototypes that will likely get more adjustments in future. However, they are a fast and effective way of quickly producing models that can be reviewed and adapted as needed. High-fidelity prototypes, on the other hand, resemble intended products more closely and can include aspects such as moveable parts.
Now, let’s take a look at the advantages of rapid prototyping for both clients and industrial designers.
The benefits of rapid prototyping unpacked
Rapid prototyping can be pure gold for any product design journey. Instead of just designing a project and taking it straight to manufacturing, rapid prototyping adds that extra layer of reviewing a prototype and making informed decisions based on client and user feedback, as well as changes suggested by the industrial design team.
Here are some of the biggest advantages of rapid prototyping.
1. Rapid prototyping reduces time and costs
Thanks to a quick turnaround of producing a prototype, rapid prototyping can assist in lowering costs as it provides insight into the form that a product will take and how its functionality will add value to customers.
Because of its quick turnaround, the process can prove to be less costly than expected and help industrial designers to even provide this service under the initial budget that clients have planned for!
2. This process ensures better quality too
Rapid prototyping highlights key features of planned products and can assist in ironing out any errors to ensure a flawless end product. This leads to products of higher quality as materials will be used more strategically and effectively.
The process also allows for smarter design and sticking to the ethos of “good design is simple design” by cutting out unnecessary “bells and whistles” and sticking to a high-quality design.
3. Rapid prototyping actively involves real-life testing and reviews
One of the most important aspects of designing a product, is confirming whether a design will answer the “why” of the intended product. In other words, whether it will solve consumers’ pain points and add value to their lives. Rapid prototyping makes answering these questions easy, as live testing will highlight how people interact with a product and if it makes sense to use. During this phase, it will be easy to pick up if customers will have difficulty with any part of the planned product or if there is something that they feel could be better presented or adapted.
4. This will also highlight possible success and if a product is a good market fit
During this live testing, a prototype could also illustrate whether a product will be easy to “sell” to the intended client base. Does it tick all the boxes for their requirements and will it be something that they will easily handle and use? If a prototype already provides clues that a product is viable for the consumer market, it is definitely on the right track.
5. Testing will also open the floor for considering different approaches
No industrial designer aims for failure, and this is why rapid prototyping can ensure that the risk for failure is minimised. This is thanks to this process’s flexible nature that allows for testing out alternatives and seeking out solutions to work. Reviewing these alternatives will ensure that informed decisions are made – and that neither the client nor the industrial designer gets stuck on non-viable ideas!
6. It will also guide the process with “big picture” thinking
Although it might feel for both clients and industrial designers that rapid prototyping takes a lot of time to complete, it is still a time-saving action that will ensure that time is not wasted further along during a project and that timing goals can be met. Because of the rapid prototyping phase, teams will get to solutions quicker, changes can be made fast and a product concept can move forward to completion with ease.
Embrace the advantages of rapid prototyping in your next project!
From today’s blog, it is clear to rapid prototyping has many benefits to consider – not just from a costing point of view but also from a market-ready perspective. This process has excellence at its core and strives for better outcomes – all guided by a perfect preview in the prototypes created.
Ultimately, rapid prototyping is an essential part of the product development process – and those that are willing to invest the time and effort into it, are sure to taste success with their final products!
If you are ready to experience an exceptional journey for your next project, contact us today. We would love to hear from you and to provide the personal touch that we have become known and respected for!