How to Make a Prototype
One of our specialties here at Cheetah Precision is making precision prototype parts for our clients. It’s a job that we take very seriously and have put the necessary resources in place to excel at it. We realize by making prototype parts to the exact standards that our clients give help minimize the time it takes a company to get their finished products assembled and functioning the way that they want them to. Although our prototyping process is somewhat flexible, there is a basic style that we use to create a prototype part for a client and we would like to go over that process in a simplified manner.
The Steps We Undertake to Bring a Prototype Part to Completion
The whole prototype part creation process starts with a client approaching us with an idea. It’s also helpful if they present us with a concept drawing of both the prototype part that needs to be made and a sketch of where it fits into a completed product. A description of how the part is meant to function in a product is helpful too. We must also be given a list of size measurements for the prototype part and the tolerances that are acceptable when it’s completed.
Once all of the above-mentioned information is in our possession, we can then begin the design phase for creating the requested prototype part. Here, our team of experienced engineers will use sophisticated CAD and CAM software to create a digital image of the prototype part that we intend to build. We may even use 3D printing to create a life-size mock-up of the part to determine if any changes are necessary before we begin manufacturing it. It must also be noted that during this phase, we will constantly keep the client updated as to our progress and let them see any CAD or CAM drawings of their prototype part that we have done.
After the steps mentioned above have been completed, we will then go about making the requested prototype part. This newly created part will be thoroughly inspected for conformity to the specs that were given to us and if everything checks out OK, the part will then be sent to the requesting manufacturer. They will then double-check that all of the requirements for their requested part have been met and check the prototype part for fit. Once this is completed, they will either accept the prototype part as is and request more of them be made or request us to make some changes.
It also must be noted that it’s not unusual for us to use our extensive prototyping knowledge to make suggestions to a client during this process. This often leads to a requested prototype part being even better or more functional.
Our Goals When Making a Prototype Part
There are certain standards and goals that we strive to achieve with every prototype part that we create. This includes:
- Creating a prototype part that accurately reflects its real-world functionality
- Producing a prototype that fits exactly when a manager uses it in a product assembly process
- Making an aesthetically pleasing prototype part, especially if the part will be easily seen in its location in a finished product
- Creating the new prototype part in such a way that large production runs of the part can duplicate it exactly
- Giving our client an accurate assessment of whether or not we feel that their new prototype part is ready to be used in their assembly process (make suggestions on improvements)
This is a time-tested method for satisfying our clients’ prototype parts needs that we have used with great success.
We are Here If You Have Any Questions About Our Prototyping Process
It must be said that we are always happy to answer any prototyping questions or concerns that you have about an upcoming project. Our experienced prototyping staff can explain the process that was discussed above in more detail if you would like and talk to you more about the equipment that will be used in making your prototype part. More importantly, we will discuss with you how we will meet or exceed your prototype part needs and leave you with a finished prototype part that will seamlessly fit into your new product’s assembly process.
More than 40 years of working closely with some of the top companies in the Automotive, Food Processing, Testing Equipment, Specialty Machinery, Packaging, Aerospace, Medical, and Material Handling industries gave us the opportunity to become experts at what we do. We are not only knowledgeable on how to make a prototype, but all other aspects of precision manufacturing from the planning and designing stage to the final finishing touches. Contact Cheetah Precision to discuss your project. You may reach us at 651-633-4566 to speak with an expert.