What are the best steps for a first-timer to create a prototype starting from zero to one?

Anyone here ever created a physical product, from design to prototype? Working on the design and plan now but unsure how to go about prototyping; seeking out digital designers for 3-D imaging, and sourcing materials and a factory afterwards. This is not an electronic, just plastic/metal equipment. Thanks!


Many times, I have been doing this for over 10 years and became a part of my life, not only a job.

I will mention the milestones as below.

1- Validate your product idea. Use surveys, just talk with your friends, the people around you. Collect some data on your potential customers' wishes. What kind of design, material, quality, function, etc. they would expect from your idea. Because when you have the idea, you usually see the good sides of it and skip validating your idea with your market. After you launch your product, you start to get feedback from your customers and you realize that some of these issues can be solved at the very beginning you just missed it!

1- Make the industrial design. 2D and 3D drawings are necessary at this point.

2- Make a prototype, via 3D printers it became so convenient these days to have a simple, fast prototype. If you are not familiar with this, I am sure someone around your friends can help you. Or you can use professional services, if you search by Google, you will find plenty of companies around you.

3- After you finish the prototype, check if it really meets your product requirements. Cross check with your friends, people around you, collect their feedback, take notes for necessary improvement points.

4- Based on all the improvements, create your updated 3D design and do the mechanical design so that your design can be manufactured in massive scale.

5- If there is no complex system, electronics in your system, just a regular contract manufacturer service will do your job.

6- You can find your own tooling supplier for creating the plastic and metal parts or your contract manufacturer can use their own tooling partners.

7- Final assembly will be done in your assigned contract manufacturer. And better you perform a quality check/outgoing product inspection for your final product. So that you won't have any bad surprise when you receive your goods.

Let me know if you have any more questions, need any support, I am happy to help with all the stages I mentioned above.

Answered 6 months ago

Hello, would be very happy to help. I run a prototype company in China. We could help you out with the design all the way through to prototyping and production. It is not as difficult as it might sound and there are many options from 3D printing to injection molding depending on your project requirements. SLA 3D printing for example is quoted by weight and is around USD $0.2/gram, so very cheap, you can get in touch at - James

Answered 5 months ago

Getting affordable prototypes to test and validate your physical product has never been more accessible with the help of 3D printing. Parts can now be quickly printed with incredible precision, surface finish, and durability from a wide selection of plastic and metal materials. If you need something to look and feel almost identical to a production injection molded part I would recommend cast urethane molding. The tooling costs are much less expensive than injection molding, the part costs are higher, and you can mimic almost any injection molded resin. For metal part fabrication, 3D printing, machining, and low-volume sheet metal fabrication are all great options for prototypes.

There are several good companies out there who can help with certain aspects of the development process but there's one company, Stoke Ventures, that can help with the entire process. I'm the CEO of Stoke and we've helped many clients go from concept to market with market research, detailed design, engineering, prototyping, testing, production manufacturing, and marketing/sales services. You can find more information at and email me directly at I'm always happy to help!

Answered 12 days ago

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