Product Development Lifecycle


Concept Design:  This is the early stage of product development.

The designer or product developer has found a problem they want to solve and thinks they have a unique or better way to solve it than any existing method.  The developer will research the market, make sketches, outline desired features, mentally wrangle potential issues, possibly file a provisional patent, etc.

The rule of thumb is that as the product developing progresses to each stage of the process, the cost to correct mistakes increases dramatically!  The developer can save a lot of money by working out details in the early Concept Design phase.  Model Labs offers design help!  Let's meet and discuss your project.  We can help you steer your way toward a successful project.

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Concept Prototype:  The Concept Prototype is a Proof Of Concept Model

The Concept Prototype step is where the developer crafts a rough prototype of the design concept out of whatever materials are readily available, and to do it for the least cost.  Don't spend too much capital on an early and unproven design.  All good products go through many design iterations before they are released.  it is very important to conserve your capital in the early development stages...because there's alot of work still to do!

Model Labs offers Concept Prototyping services at reasonable prices.  We can guide you in the right direction or create a prototype for you.

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Concept Testing:  Test your Concept Prototype in General Use

Here's where the rubber meets the road.  The developer needs to test his prototype under the typical and expected working conditions and see how the creation performs.  He or she finds out what works and what breaks!  It is important for the developer to sort out the critical issues and address them in the future revisions.  Then develop a fix to the issue and try and try again!  Don't leave the concept stages until all of the known kinks worked out.

 Model Labs can help identify the expected working conditions, help design a test for your early prototypes, and aid in identifying the critical issues with the design.

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Detailed Design:  The Developer Solidifies a Final Design

The product developer has come a long way and is ready to solidify a final design.  This is where an industrial designer might be hired, accurate 3D CAD models are created, manufacturing processes are identified, material selection is made, detailed drawings are created, final patents might be filed, and more.

Model Labs can consult you in your Detailed Design stage.  Mistakes and misteps in the final stages of product development can get expensive.  Get the proper coaching and hire the right people for the job.

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Detailed Prototype:  This is a Prototype of the Detailed Design

This is called the Detailed Prototype step, but the result is very close to the final product in fit, form, and function.  Simulated or real materials will be used, all the functional features will be incorporated, and the resulting prototype will be a highly detailed facsimile of the final go-to-market product.

Model Labs can make your Detailed Prototype.  We have inhouse capabilities as well as skilled industry partners that can get the job done right.

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Detailed Testing:  Test the Detailed Prototype

At the Detailed Testing stage, it's time to make sure all your i's are dotted and t's are crossed.  It is very important to capture all potential issues during Detailed Testing, because progressing to production with an immature product can lead to costly tooling changes, retrofits and redesigns.

Model Labs can help you define your product's real environments, develop test procedures to validate your detailed design, and help identify potential pitfalls that can save time and money in future stages.

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Small Production:  Produce 10's to 1000's of Parts

Once the product design has progressed past all the designing and prototyping stages, it is time to start production.  The Small Production stage bridges the gap between mechanical prototyping (1-10 parts) and the costly startup cost of injection molding (10,000+ parts).  Small Production manufacturing methods include machining, RTV silicone molding, rapid manufacturing, and more.  There are many details to explore in deciding which Small Production method to use for each part.

Model Labs can help deterimine which Small Production method is best suited for a given part and get the work completed.

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Large Production:  1000's to Hundreds of 1000's of Parts

In the Large Production run, the developer has progressed through all the previous Product Development stages, has market tested the product, and is ready to mass produce on a large scale.  The product is most likely being sold, has shown a strong market interest, and the developer has determined to scale up.  For Large Production runs, the typical plastic parts are produced using injection molding.  Each product has unique characteristics that will determine the best suited manufacturing process.

Model Labs has highly skilled industry counterparts that deal locally and abroad, who can help determine and deliver your large production needs.

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