When the Davison design team makes the first prototype, they just need to answer one simple question: “Does it work?”
The first prototype is a “proof of concept” model that determines if the invention can work as intended. It may not look exactly like the final prototype and it certainly isn’t made from the same materials. It is usually made of very inexpensive materials. This model is used to determine what design options are working, what will need to be redesigned and the overall “look and feel” of the product idea. With this model, the design team can see how the product fits in with its intended environment. For example, if the product fits in your hand, then they can ask: Is it a comfortable size? Is it easy to push buttons (with your thumb or other hand)? Does the shape feel right?
After the Davison design team has had a chance to refine the design, the next step is to make a product sample. These models are usually more like the intended final product in terms of materials, proportions, style, and function. The team will most likely still use less expensive prototyping materials, but the materials will be closer to the type used in the ultimate product. Photographs can be taken of this version and used to create marketing materials. Because this prototype is used to create the product packaging.
Davison creates packaging for the new product sample prototype, so that licensees can imagine how it would fit into their product line and imagine how it would look alongside their other products on store shelves. This by far is the most measurable benefit of the product sample development process, because manufacturers don’t buy great ideas, they buy great products that are well designed and ready for production.
If a manufacturer decides to license a product, they can request that an additional prototype be created to work out issues with their preferred materials and manufacturing processes.
So, you can see that from early concept to final product, the prototype development process is an important part of creating a new product that is well designed and appealing to customers.