Prototyping is the most important process in creating a successful product. The two questions we want to answer is
1. Will the product work?
2. How will it look and feel?
Answering those questions will allow us to move forward and create a production level prototype that more closely resembles the final product.
Proof of Concept prototype: The first physical model created along the product roadmap is the proof of concept prototype. Designed to answer the question “will it work?”, it is strictly concerned with function over form and will likely bear little if any resemblance to the final product.
Engineering Prototype: The engineering prototype is the first iteration that marries visual, functional and manufacturing representation. It is a direct successor to the proof of concept prototype with an attempt made to mimic the appearance as well.
The goal is to test the functionality of the product before a further investment into higher-grade materials is made.
Production Prototype: After the engineering prototype has been successfully tested, a production prototype is created. This is the last confirmation before designs are released for mass-production tooling. The key difference lies in the quality of materials used, as it is designed to be both fully functional and virtually indistinguishable in appearance from the final product.