20 Jun 2021
Prototype made out of metal.

Manufacturing plastic prototype – where to start

The first step in every product’s life is prototyping. Whether it’s a brand new idea or an improvement on an old design, prototyping allows designers to see and test a product before it goes to production. From consumer goods to industrial, every field across every industry benefits from the ease and affordability of modern prototype manufacturing.

To learn more about the process of prototyping, check out our blog, Rapid plastic prototyping services explained

First time prototyping 

If you’re looking to create your first prototype, the first step in the process is to design a digital model. A computer-assisted design, referred to as CAD, is a visual representation of your future product. Having this will help your manufacturer work out any initial design challenges and determine the best method to produce your design. At this stage, working with an experienced plastic manufacturing company is essential.

Prototype mold for small plastic parts with the parts besides the mold.The two phases of plastic prototype production

  1. Design and engineering – As we’ve already discussed, the first step is the design process. You can do this yourself, or use a designer. After your design is set, production engineers will determine the best materials and processes to manufacture your prototype. An initial prototype is created using 3D printing, machining, or casting.
  2. Once the design and engineering are completed, you decide what they need the prototype for. Is it for test fitting, form and function observation, aesthetic qualities for presentation models, etc.? Once this is decided the manufacturer will help decide what process and materials to use for prototyping.

A trusted source for quality plastic prototyping

At Rex Plastics, we take pride in helping our clients bring their designs into reality. As your partner throughout the process, Rex Plastics is there to answer any questions you may have about your project. Our position as a regional leader in plastics ensures that you’re getting the best advice, the best service, and the best manufacturing know-how around. If you’ve got a product that needs a prototype, contact us today.