Prototyping vs. Sampling: What’s the Difference?
Transforming an idea to a product can be exciting. Likely you will start with hand-drawn sketches and a homemade model, which provides you a good look at how the final product will look and function. But what’s next? Several stages of prototyping and sampling remain before production, and the following distinction will help you prepare your pre-production process.
Prototypes serve as a test of a new product design or concept. Prototypes will change as you develop and improve your product. You should take an extremely hands-on role in iterating and refining your model. You should perform prototyping locally, if not in-house. Before approval, you may build, rebuild, scrap and improved multiple prototypes with multiple revisions. Then when your prototype is strong enough, you are ready to move into sampling.
Samples are the beginning of your production process. Factories produce samples, which can then be used for testing fit, quality and pricing. You can also use your samples for early sales and marketing. The more samples you provide, the more efficient and less costly your sampling will be. Detailed Bills of Material (BOMs) and drawings, with detailed material specifications dimensions and tolerances, and even detailed test procedures help ensure effective sampling and production. The factory also requires customer approved samples before beginning production.
Prototyping and Sampling
Your process of taking an idea to prototyping to sampling, and eventually to full production can be a lengthy one. Patience and attention to detail are critical to your successful factory partnership and product launch.
If you have a great idea or concept, are interested in high-quality production but don’t know where to begin, please feel free to contact us – we look forward to helping you understand more about prototyping and ultimately how you can produce a great product using our outsource manufacturing services.