Do you ever sit and daydream about world-changing ideas? We all have those moments where we envision a product that could change the face of an entire industry. It’s important to remember that every major product started in this way. The iPhone, an airplane, even the wheel all began life as nothing more than a small idea. There’s no reason your idea couldn’t be the next big invention. What’s stopping you? The tricky part is turning that idea into a functional reality. Here’s how you do it.
Research – Before you create anything, slow down and do some research! It’s no use creating and building a product before you understand its purpose and function. More importantly, you need to understand its target audience. Failing to do so is one of the biggest problems faced by startups. Who would benefit from using this product or idea? Start with that and get deep into your potential customer base. Does a product like this already exist? What would make yours different? These are the questions you should be asking yourself before you start.
Sketch and design – Now it’s time to hit the drawing board. Literally. Spend some time drawing your idea on paper. Imagine how it might look and function. Getting a design down on paper is very different to imagining it on paper. You’ll start to see the flaws and potential problems. The physical reality will be quite varied. Once you’re happy with a rough sketch, transfer it to a 3D digital model using CAD CAM software.
Make a prototype – By now, you should have gone through a few different design ideas and perfected an initial concept. You’ll have a rough idea of materials needed and a strong sense of where you’re going. Now you can make your first prototype. You can build the first model with things lying around your home, office or workshop. Do this to get a sense of its size, shape and function. From there you can build or commission a full-scale, workable prototype.
Test, test, test – We’ve hit the most monotonous and frustrating part of the cycle. The testing section can often get the better of many great inventors. It’s where you’ll discover problems and overcome difficulties. Test the function, the materials, and make continuous changes. Finally, give the prototype to a select group from your target audience. What do they like and dislike about it? Finally, show it to your friends and family. If your average family member can get to grips with it, you know it has universal appeal.
Produce the final product – Finally, the bit you’ve been waiting for! It’s where your small spark of an idea become a reality. We suggest outsourcing the final build of your product. You’ll need a company that specialises in automation and PLC programming. They’ll have a production line to create your product faster and more efficiently than your resources. Assess the final model and give yourself a pat on the back!
The production process is often long and frustrating. It takes time to turn a small idea into a world-class product. Follow this advice and you’ll see it through in no time!