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The 5 Different Types of Consumer Product Prototypes in Hardware Development

Understanding the different types of physical prototypes used in developing a consumer product invention idea can be daunting and confusing for first time inventors.

Kevin Mako and his firm Mako Design + Invent have developed over 1,000 products for inventors, hardware startups, and small manufacturers. Developing such a breadth of products requires a wide range of prototyping methods and uses. Kevin breaks down the most common prototypes in his recent article in Forbes: Five Prototype Methods For Developing An Invention Idea As A Startup.

Getting a product from idea to becoming a professional world-class product takes a lot of industrial design and engineering work. One of the main parts of that is using different types of prototypes to build, test, and refine the product to prepare it for manufacturing. Understanding which types of prototypes are used for what development and business purposes is key to bringing a new product to market.

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Kevin Mako is a Make48 judge and keynote speaker. He is one of the world’s leading experts on product development for hardware startups. Kevin is the Founder of MAKO Design + Invent, the pioneer firm for providing world-class end-to-end physical consumer product development tailored to inventors, product startups, and small manufacturers. Est 1999, Mako is a 30-person team with offices in Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto, has developed over 1,000 products for clients and has earned over 25 design and business awards including Red Dot, Inc5000, Entrepreneur360, Indigo Gold, Creative Pool Gold, Best Places to Work, Lux Magazine Best Design Firm in North America, and many others. Kevin lectures at the Masters of Engineering program at Ryerson University, sits on a number of entrepreneurship and education boards, and holds the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award designation. He is the host of The Product Startup Podcast, the hardware development industry’s leading podcast.

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