Physical Prototype

A physical prototype is a tangible representation of an idea or concept, designed to help showcase, test, develop and evaluate its potential for use.

A physical prototype is a three-dimensional representation of an idea or concept. It can be used to test the feasibility of an idea, explore different design options and refine the details of a product or service. Physical prototypes can also be used to demonstrate the capabilities of a product or service, helping others visualize how it could be used in real life.

Physical prototypes are often created using inexpensive materials such as cardboard, foam core board or 3D printing technology. Depending on the complexity of the design and intended use, they may also incorporate electronics such as sensors and motors. Creating physical prototypes provides innovators with opportunities to experiment with design changes without having to invest significant resources into development costs. This allows them to make adjustments quickly based on feedback from user testing or other evaluations.  

Physical prototypes offer several advantages over virtual representations such as computer models and wireframes. They can provide more detail about how something looks, feels and functions; for example, how well does it fit in your hand? How does it move? Does it provide enough support? By providing tangible evidence about a concept’s potential uses and benefits, physical prototypes can help teams make decisions about next steps in their innovation process with greater confidence.

One example of a physical prototype is a model car that incorporates various features found on real cars but made out of cardboard or foam core board instead of metal parts. This allows designers to quickly test different designs without having to manufacture individual components out of metal each time they want to make adjustments. Another example would be a mobile app mockup created out of paper that helps developers understand user flows better by being able to physically interact with the screens rather than just looking at them on a computer monitor.

In addition to testing ideas before investing significant resources into development costs, physical prototypes are also commonly used during trade shows or public events where people want to learn more about new products or services without actually purchasing them yet. For instance, many tech companies show off their upcoming products by displaying 3D printed models at industry conferences so attendees can get hands-on experience before committing financially down the line. This strategy has been widely adopted by many companies looking for ways to generate interest in their upcoming products prior to launch date while still keeping production costs low until after market validation has been achieved.

As a tangible prototype used mainly for showcasing the future product - the focus of a physical prototype varies depending on its purpose. For example, some prototypes are only visual, in order to evaluate its aesthetics, whereas others are function or user-experience based.

Related Keywords: 3D Printing Technology , Mockups , User Testing , Prototyping , Design Iteration

Top Physical Prototype Resources