PROTOTYPING AND MASS PRODUCING YOUR PRODUCT

Prototypes are the first physical unit(s) of your product to be manufactured. They are typically subjected to rigorous functional and performance testing. This is necessary to validate the product prior to mass production.

Mass production is the process of creating a large number of units for ultimate sale to your end users for profit. While the scrutiny placed on these units is not as great as for the prototypes, quality assurance is still crucial. Choosing the right vendor is critical. 

We understand that your choice of manufacturer is paramount. You need a provider who delivers on time with excellent quality and competitive prices. Good documentation practices and support are also key considerations. With many years of experience sourcing manufacturers, we can connect you with the best option for your product and development stage.

We also understand that some of our clients already have a preferred manufacturer(s). All of our engineering drawings and documentation are professional grade. As such, you can be assured that any competent manufacturer you choose will be able to reliably produce your product.

Whether at the prototype or mass production stage, there will inevitably be questions from your chosen provider. Good manufacturers will make suggestions and ask for approval to use methods that allow them to create the product with the lowest cost. To the uninitiated, these questions can be difficult to answer. Rest assured that Dominarc will guide the process for you and help you to understand the implications of the options presented.

It’s also important to understand that the methods and processes utilized to produce a prototype are often different than those for mass production. Sometimes it makes sense to use different vendors for each. Keep reading below to learn more.

PROTOTYPING

Sometimes the method of manufacture for mass production is prohibitively expensive when only a prototype is needed. For example, plastic products are typically mass produced using a mold. A single mold can cost in excess of of $10,000. Now consider 3D printing this product instead, which may cost less than $500. Obviously, 3D printing is the better option for prototyping plastic products.

While using a mold can reduce the price per unit when moving to production, it will not save you any cash at the prototyping stage. Also consider that many times changes will be made after review of the first prototype. Clearly, these design iterations would be very costly if a new mold was created for each change!

The above case is but one of many examples where the method of manufacture for prototyping should be considered separately from mass production.

For prototyping machined, welded, or sheet metal products, it often makes more sense to work with manufactures that specialize in rapid prototyping. Benefits of using a prototyping specialist include faster turnarounds and higher tolerance for the often iterative prototyping process. Many times, mass manufacturers are simply not setup for the “one-off” production style required at the prototyping stage.

Dominarc has considerable experience in the best practices and appropriate vendor selection for your prototype! 

PRODUCTION

Production, or “mass production”, is very different from prototyping. Production is all about reducing cost per unit while maintaining quality.

At this stage, you will have a fully validated prototype that proves your product design is complete and ready for production and sale. You will need to know how many units are required for your first production batch. We also recommend that you have an estimate for yearly production rates.

In contrast to prototyping, now is the time to invest upfront cash into manufacturing tools like molds. While they may be expensive, they will allow you to produce your product with a much lower cost per unit for large batches 

Consider a plastic part that costs $20 to 3D print. This cost per unit will not change, no matter how many units you produce. Now consider using an injection mold to produce the same part. Assume that the mold for this part costs $10,000. For a small number of units, the overall cost per unit will still be higher than simply 3D printing. However, if you are planning to produce a large number of units, the cost per unit may approach costs as low as 20 cents per unit! See the image below for an illustration of this concept.

There are many other examples where initial investments will reap considerable reward for mass production. Rest assured that Dominarc will guide you to the right choice for your product and required production rates.

WHAT WE'LL DO FOR YOU

  • Manage manufacture of your prototype and/or mass production
  • Answer any and all vendor questions regarding design
  • Find the most cost effective and highest quality methods of manufacture
  • Arrange for shipment to your facility

WHAT YOU'LL GET

  • A completed full-scale prototype
  • All required manufacturing records