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Old 02-12-06, 04:00 PM   #1
Rev.Chuck
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How do you get from prototype to production?

I have an idea that I have built into a rough prototype. Once I get the bugs out, how do I get it produced?

Assuming someone else does not already make one just like it
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Old 02-12-06, 04:06 PM   #2
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I am no expert, and its tough to say since i dont know what this idea is (understandable that you dont want to say). I assume it is a mechanism?
I think before you get into a production, you want a real prototype. So i suggest you draw the components necessary like a CAD file, just on paper, since your probably not familiar with CAD programs. Then see if you can find a shop to make the parts, and you have an impressive prototype .
Or buy tools necessary to make it yourself.
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Old 02-12-06, 04:46 PM   #3
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I know very little about this topic, but it seems you might want a patent if you have a really good idea.
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Old 02-12-06, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
I have an idea that I have built into a rough prototype. Once I get the bugs out, how do I get it produced?

Assuming someone else does not already make one just like it
Don't spend any money on production unless you have done your market research first. This is more important if you want to make a profit.

The biggest, most typical mistake is to invent something great and find out there is no market for it. A fantastic idea may not sell.
A patent lawyer can do a patent search for you to see what's out there already. Just get the yellow pages and ask three patent lawyers for a price. If one of the prices is way off don't use that one.

Getting a patent on something, has nothing to do with if it will sell, or not sell, nothing. In many cases it's a waste of money. You still might need a patent search just to see if there is a patent infringement.

If you know what kind of business will make the various things that you need to have done, get to the Thomas Register (at the library in reference books) maybe now they have an on line version I don't know.
Or google the type of bussiness you need.
And call three of them, start with ones that are closer to you. Throw out a price that is way off.

Go visit the businesses you like and get a tour, and try and make a judgment if you trust them. Ask them for the names of a few happy customers and call or visit the customers too.

Prepare to be broke for a couple of years. Don't let your ego control the spending. Don't let your desire to have your own product on the market keep you from doing good market research first. Don't try to sell against an equivalent produt that is priced lower. This is a tough one, get all your quotes and know the cost before spending anything.

If you have customers asking for something at your shop, be very carefull if you assume it will be that way across the country. Try and find out more about the market.

Good luck !!
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Old 02-12-06, 06:18 PM   #5
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Hurry and get it patented so you can tell us all what it is.
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Old 02-12-06, 06:28 PM   #6
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Yes, a patent is a must have. Your prototype and drawings, along with an attorney shoul;d be enough to get you started... along with $5-10k for the process.
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Old 02-12-06, 07:10 PM   #7
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To actually produce the item, you need a production line. This involves tooling, flow charts, process charts. Most likely you would sell your patented idea to a manufacturing company, who would oversee the production and kick back too small a percent to you. Make sure all of the proper drawings are in order, along with the proper ISO design constraints, and you will need a working prototype. One that is identical to the one you want to see in production. Let the manufacturing company deal with the marketing end of it.
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Old 02-12-06, 08:03 PM   #8
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It is not to exciting. Not a bike part, just something to make a retailers life easier. Had a vision in the night, drew it up so I could go back to sleep, and built two very rough prototypes today, to see if it would even work, it does. If you have a small business you might be interested in it.
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Old 02-12-06, 10:45 PM   #9
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A patent search will tell you if there is already something like it patented. Until you have this information you can't jump to knowing if you need a patent or even if you want to make them. Maybe it's been done. Maybe not. Maybe you need engineering drawings, maybe not, some places will do this for you. Maybe you need a production line and special tools, maybe not. If you build a production line how many do you have to make on the first run? Oops...no sales projections. Never mind. Maybe you can make some by hand until you know if they will sell. If it's simple you might not need much tooling or even any tooling.
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