When you think of prototyping, you might think it only applies to complex mechanical products or expensive systems that cost thousands, even millions of dollars. But did you know that prototyping something as small and relatively inexpensive as a fastener component can save you big bucks? It’s true.
There are a number of benefits associated with prototyping. Here are a few:
- Prototyping helps to eliminate ambiguities and improve accuracy when developing fastener requirements and functionality
- Prototyping helps to ensure that the fastener does what it is supposed to do — not just what the designer thinks it ought to do, or how
- Prototyping enables the designer to quickly demonstrate how a fastener will work or to focus on a component part in detail
- Prototyping helps to identify and address problems early on (for example, missing, confusing, or misunderstood features)
- Prototyping enables the designer to explore ideas and exchange feedback with the customer and end-user. This is an important step in developing a fastener solution to ensure it actually does what it needs to do, and does it well
- Prototyping helps to firm up how the final fastener solution will look and function and acceptance of that stage by design stakeholders enables the developer to progress to the next stage to help bring the project to a timely conclusion
- Prototyping gives the client and end-user a greater sense of involvement, ownership, and a better appreciation of the final fastener design
- Prototyping helps the developer estimate development costs, a delivery timeline, necessary production skills and potential resource requirements
- Prototyping serves as a useful reference point — it can be a valuable resource in the event of a dispute further in the development lifecycle)
Prototyping is an iterative process, meaning that a series of steps will likely need to be repeated until acceptance has been gained. Essentially, the designer can use the information gleaned and feedback received from the client and/or end-user to rework the prototype as necessary until agreement is reached by all parties. In the unlikely event that agreement cannot be reached after a comprehensive series of reworks then the feasibility of the development under the current constraints needs to be re-examined.
By prototyping even a relatively simple fastener component, you’ll save money because prototyping will help reveal issues and problems early on before it becomes too expensive or prohibitive to correct them. It gives you the opportunity to “fail early and often” until you achieve the right design for the application.
To learn more about the advantages of fastener system prototyping, contact the prototyping professionals here at Electronic Fasteners.