When it comes to product development, that’s the million dollar question. While in almost anything else you might purchase, you can look at a price tag and know exactly what it will cost Product development is not that simple, even for the simplest of products.
Let’s start with cost. How much will it cost to make a prototype? Believe it or not the answer lies in the questions. The objective, whether for show to present to investors or testing the functionality with real users, will help determine what the product we be made out of Do you need only one or multiple to keep the cost down? Does the product have moving parts, power or electronics? Prototypes are the starting point. More often than not, the prototype works just as the developer intended, but if not, do we want to continue to refine? Do we need to change materials or structure? Do molds need to be created for plastic parts? Cost depends on many factors and until designers and engineers carry out the initial phase of R&D, the price tag cannot be determined. Once the product research is done by an experience designer and appropriate engineers, preliminary specs can be defined and an estimate of required materials, cost and labor can be determined.
Length of time to develop a prototype or product also depends on many factors. Does the developer of the idea already have the CAD drawings for his/her idea? If not, the idea will need to be evaluated and then developed in to technical CAD drawings before the prototype can be started. Think of the CAD drawings as the detailed blueprint for your product. Is he/she happy with the design or does he see even further improvements that can be made? Can the parts for the prototype be made here locally or do we need to look over seas? Does an electrical engineer need to be utilized? Every single new product has its own unique features. The length of time to develop is all determined by those features and the expertise it takes to make it all come to life.
So jump in, once under an NDA, share your idea with the expert designers and engineers and they will work through to an answer of “how much and how long” it will cost to bring your product to life.