Good Communication is Critical in Building a Prototype

Guest blogger William Colbath continues his series on Prototyping with the following article: Hi all! How bout the American Inventor show? They are down to the final twelve and firmly into my territory PROTOTYPING! For me it couldn't be more exciting. This may not seem to exciting to some ofyou, but to the contestants it could mean the difference between winning or not! How so you ask? The prototyping stage is where most inventions fail or prosper. So picking the right prototyper is very important. A lot of times a good prototyper can save a invention thats doomed to failure by just applying experience to the problem. But in order to accomplish this it takes good communication between you and the prototyper. When you are discussing the prototype with the prototyper that you have chosen, don't assume that your point is getting across, remember that no one has ever built this before, it's brand new. So back up what you are saying with drawings, a crude rough drawing explains what you are trying to do better than all the words you could use. Don't believe me? Try this experiment. Go out and rip a piece of moulding off of your car, bring it into the house, call up your favorite uncle and try to describe it over the phone so that your uncle could build it! Good luck! Something that could also aid you in getting your point across, that could also help is take photos of parts or whole assembles that are like what you are trying to build. The point of all this is to get the basic idea of your invention across to your prototyper. So the prototyper can lend their experience to your project. And that brings up one more thing, You as the inventor need to keep a open mind at this point. The prototyper may suggest some changes at this point, to accomplish several things. To make the prototype easy to build, to make it less expensive to build, and most important of all, in some cases, to make it WORK! I don't know about you but I can hardly wait until the next episode, to see if any of the things that I have been discussing in this column are put to good use on the contestants' inventions. So till next week... save the green stuff. William William Colbath Owner - E-mail: news weblog reality tv television entertainment inventing inventions prototyping engineering engineers prototypes manufacturing