You are an inventor with an idea and you understand your invention and can visualize the resulting product, but:
Will it really work?
If it is other than a static (having no motion) design, the answer is probably; I really don't know!Can potential investors or licensees understand your product?
If it is other than a static (having no motion) design, the answer is NO!
So, I think it is clear that, in most cases, you need a prototype. Now, if you have further doubts, go to the USPTO patent search site:
Copy the following:
and paste it into the Query
box and then click the Search
button. Select patent number 7,314,109. Now, read the Abstract
and the Claims
. Can you visualize what the resulting product will look like and how it will function? Now, go back to the top and click on Images
. On the left side, click on Drawings
and go through the 7 pages of drawings. Can you visualize what the resulting product will look like and how it will function? I think you now better understand why you need a prototype for many inventions. While you are there, do a few more searches and go through the same process outlined above.
While most manufacturers familiar with the area of your idea/invention may be able to visualize and understand your idea/invention without a prototype; Investors will not!
So, if you are looking for investors, you will need a prototype.
Now, the question is; Do I build the prototype myself or engage a company to build it for me? Only you can answer that question. It depends on how complicated the idea/invention is and your skills. For most of us, it is best to engage someone else. So, where do we find someone to build a prototype? Start by going to:
Once there, do a simple search on prototype
. You will find there are over a hundred categories
and thousands of companies
that do prototyping. Select a catagory and go through the companies. You can narrow your search results by entering additional search arguments, e.g., plastic prototype
if you want a prototype made of plastic.
Another good source is:
An initial alternative to a prototype is to do a 3D CAD model of your idea/invention. For a FREE
program, take a look at:
Now, I must confess
, I have never produced or had a prototype produced for any of my ideas/inventions. Primarily, because I never look for investors and because I am not intelligent enough to come up with complicated ideas/inventions. I exclusively do licensing agreements with companies that come to me for ideas/inventions and manufacturers that are familiar with the area of my ideas/inventions. Although I would welcome them, I have never had investors come to me wanting ideas/inventions
I hope mrbach
(Carl Bachellier), mojo62
, and others will join in this topic and share their knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm to round it out and make it interesting for the audience here at InventorSpot.