I was invited by Mark Reyland, a well respected blogger, innovator and inventor who has dedicated his blog to helping inventors, to share my insights on 3d printing, prototyping and inventors. To see the article on his blog www.inventoropinion.com or read on.
Mark and I had a great conversation the other day about inventors, prototyping and things that many don’t know when they first start working on a new idea. Since I’ve been a 3D printing sales rep for the last 14 years, he asked if it would be possible to share insights on some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to prototyping their invention.
I eagerly took on the opportunity to share, as I’m already helping inventors by informing and guiding them on the 3d printing process and what their next steps might be on a daily basis. What I find most interesting thought is that many inventors are contacting me because they believe a prototype (or a patent) should be at the top of their too do list, until they learn more from our conversation.
Based on my experience, here are the top 3 mistakes many inventors make when it comes to prototyping and how you can avoid them:
- Prototyping Too Soon: Naturally, inventors are excited to get started on a prototype because it’s a gratifying part of the invention development process and it’s fun! They finally have a chance to hold their idea in their hand that was once only a thought in their head. However, starting on a prototype too soon cannot only waste money but also valuable time, as you may have to go back and fix mistakes that could have been avoided. Inventors should take a few important steps before prototyping such as research, learning more about their competition and customers, not to mention if their idea even has the potential to be a profitable one.
- Unprepared for 3D Printing: For those interested in having a part quoted or 3d printed, a proper 3D CAD (computer aided drawing) file is required first. Asking for a ballpark quote based on a description will be of little value. Often inventors place a great deal of focus on the cost of a 3D printed part before they take the steps that should be their priority, including the creation of their CAD drawings. 3D printing is just one cost (and can often be one of the lowest costs) when bringing an invention to market and as a result, it shouldn’t be used a deciding factor as to whether or not you can afford to purse your invention.
- Victim of the Media: I’ll be the first to admit that while 3d printing is pretty amazing and has helped a lot of people bring their invention to life, it’s still not quite as close to Star Trek Replicator technology as the media may have you believe. For example, it can only build what is supplied in the 3D CAD file, parts are restricted to the limited materials available, final quality may not look “store bought” and working components and finishes are often added after the part is printed. Once you do a little research on what 3d printing really offers, you can better decide if, or how it can be used to benefit your invention.
Although I could easily go on for days about prototyping and inventions, I’ll instead invite you to visit our website at to download our free eBook, 5 Proven Ways to Set Your Invention Up For Success. Our eBook and website will share how we are helping inventors with straight-forward information and steps to take in order to bring their invention to life as quickly and economically as possible.