So many great ideas are thought up every day, but how many actually become products? Beyond that, how many of those great ideas reach mass production? In this modern age, it’s becoming easier to develop your project from start to finish. Advancements in technology like 3D modeling, artificial intelligence, and even crowdfunding are breaking the barriers to product production.
Right now is the best time to brainstorm the world’s next big thing. We’re living in a time known as the Maker Movement. You can see this movement alive and well on websites like Kickstarter or even through well-known YouTube creator channels. Everyone today is making new things and trying new ideas. The Maker Movement isn’t just for big-name creators. Even new inventors have new resources at their disposal to create prototypes that will grow to change the industry. Keep reading to see how to go from prototype to mass production in the new Maker Movement.
Stage 1: Prototype
After you have an idea, you need to get it into the physical space. It’s hard to sell an idea, but it’s easy to sell something people can see for themselves. In the past, creating prototypes could be costly. You’d need to source materials, and you had limited options for affordable experimentation. Today, there are software options that make designing your prototype a breeze.
Because you can begin your design process in the digital space, there’s more room for creativity and experimentation. Many new designers are choosing to use 3D modeling services to create prototypes since it’s affordable and easy using CNC machining services, prototype machining or CNC aluminum and plastic machining like 3ERP provides. Having a prototype will lend value to your funding stage, and it makes marketing your idea easier.
Stage 2: Find Funding
Once you have a prototype, it’s time to start sourcing your funding. Even in the digital age, products cost money to produce. An essential aspect of the funding process is learning more about your market and whether you have an audience looking to purchase your product. Without an existing market, what’s the point of mass production? Luckily, it’s easier than ever to fund your product today using crowdfunding.
What is crowdfunding? The name itself is the combination of crowdsourcing and microfinancing. In essence, it’s when individual people or companies invest money into your product because it’s something they want to support. You’ve probably seen the big crowdfunding platforms in action already on social media. The most well-known platform is Kickstarter which provides rewards to those who pledge funds towards your project. Other options include Prosper and Lending Club which lets borrowers access funds from peers without going through traditional banks. Crowdfunding is the future of business, and it’s bringing ideas to life today.
Stage 3: Production
After you have the funds to produce your product, it’s time to get to work. You’ll need to work with a product designer to perfect your idea. This round might involve creating more prototypes and testing them with your target market to see how they perform. Once a product hits mass production, it’s difficult to make changes. Take the time to ensure your product is ready for this next step.
There are two main options for mass production. The first option is to find your own manufacturers and then sell the product yourself. The second option is to license your product to another company. When you license your product, you sell the product to a company who will produce it and sell it for you in exchange for a percentage of the profits. You will need to research manufacturers and discuss costs on your own in order to decide which path is right for your product goals.
Producing a product from start to finish has become easier in the Makers Movement. Not only do you have more technology at your disposal, but you have more ways to fund your product than ever before. What will you contribute to the Makers Movement?