Prototyping is an essential stage of the product development process, the method by which sketches and 3D CAD design become tangible objects. Prototypes can have a multitude of purposes, from demonstrating a concept’s look and feel to confirming the feasibility of a high-risk feature. A proof-of-concept (PoC) prototype is a way to test if an idea can be made to function properly and is usually the first type of prototyping, during Phase 1 of the Product Development Process. Towards the end of the process, a production-ready prototype typically includes all the parts, each having undergone design for manufacturing and specific material selection, that will comprise the mass-produced units. During every step of the process, feedback gathered from prototype testing is crucial in launching a successful product.
To build and verify prototypes, Simplexity offers dedicated services with 3D printing, machining, assembly, metrology, and environmental testing capabilities. Our electrical engineers and technicians are experts in the assembly and testing of complex electrical prototypes. We regularly put together breadboards consisting of development kits, sensors, wireless modules, batteries, and other building blocks. Breadboards are tested at our electrical workbenches, which include sophisticated test equipment. When required, we also design high precision tools for measuring flatness, straightness, pitch, roll, step time, and various other parameters. We support data collection with design of experiments (DoE), where a matrix composed of different ranges of parameters is tested to optimize performance.
As part of our services, Simplexity advises on the best manufacturing process for a given prototype part. We work regularly with vendors capable of standard prototyping techniques – such as 3D printing, urethane casting, and soft tooling – as well as advanced part production techniques, such as metal injection molding, thixomolding, and RTV casting. We also have experience prototyping overmolded parts, as well as flexible components, such as O-rings, gaskets, and seals.
Whether the needed parts get built in-house or by one of our external partners, our clients can be sure that Simplexity is using prototyping techniques that are appropriate to meet the design intent.