From Idea To Concept: The Process Of Creating A Prototype Of A Product Made From Plastic Materials
When you have an idea for a great product made of synthetic materials like plastics, there are certain crucial steps that you must complete in order to make sure your idea is viable. It does not matter if you are creating a mechanical part or a new type of hair clip, the process of creating a usable product includes design, prototype and testing phases. If you are a novice at bringing an idea from the concept to marketing phase, the following guide can help you understand the process, from sketches to injection molding to the final design.
Creating the Initial Design
Like many inventors, you probably began creating a concept of your idea from handwritten sketches. However, it is important to hire an expert with experience in computer-aided design (CAD) and knowledge of prototype techniques such as injection molding to create 3-D digital images of your product.
Using the preliminary CAD file, your designer can create a non-working model of your product out of paper, foam, cardboard or other easy-to-manipulate materials. This is helpful if you need a preliminary concept to show to potential investors.
Preparing to Obtain a Prototype
Injection molding involves using specialized machines to shape resin materials such as plastic into very specific shapes and forms.
In order to obtain a working prototype of your product, you need to hire a firm that specializes in injection molding, such as Accurate Products Inc.. You will provide them with the specifications of your product and the CAD files created by your designer.
The prototyping firm will help you to select the right synthetic materials, texture, color and finish for your product. They will also provide you with an estimate of costs to produce your product.
The costs will be determined by the price of materials and how long it takes to create the product. The cycle of creating a prototype via injection molding includes the injection time and how long it takes the product to cool and set.
Understanding the Prototype Process
The prototyping firm will decide what type of injection molding machine is required to create your product. The main types are hydraulic, mechanical and electric.
First, the firm will create a mold for your product. The mold must be inspected to make sure its cavity and cooling water pipe is in good condition with no defects.
After the mold is created, the materials used in the process will be prepared. An injection molding machine setter will set the injection speed, time, pressure, temperature, filling and cooling time.
When the mold cavity is ready, the actual molding will begin. The injection molding machine must be monitored to make sure that the molding material stays stable. In some cases, the prototyping firm may create a few test molds to make sure the settings were correct and to correct any problems.
Testing and Refining the Prototype
Once the injection molding process is complete and you have prototypes, you need to test your product. This is one of the most important phases of getting your product off the ground. The testing phase will help you determine if there are flaws that you need to fix and if your product is actually safe to market.
Testing your injection-molded product will also enable you to show investors a working model, use the product in focus group testing, and make sure that the product meets any relevant government or industry standards.
If you find that there are refinements that need to be made to your product, you can work with your CAD designer and the rapid prototyping firm to repeat the design and injection molding process.
When you have a final design, injection molding can be used to create high volumes of your product.