When it comes to determining how to make an invention prototype, you have several options to consider. Many inventors choose to build their own prototypes, but you can also hire others to do the work for you.
Delegating the prototype building process to a firm or professional may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, but it can save you time and effort.
Building a prototype is very important because prototypes are very helpful in marketing your investment to large manufacturers. The reason that many inventors choose to build their own prototypes is that this approach is the cheapest option.
Building your own prototype can not only save you money, but it will give you greater control and understanding of the features of the invention.
This option works especially well for simple inventions which are easy to build.
A good example is the paper cup with triple wall insulation, created by Claus Sadlier. He was able to build a prototype for under $1, using paper cups, cardboard, poster board, scissors and glue. This invention which was literally prototyped at a kitchen table now generates over $50 million in yearly sales.
Before the year 1880, the invention creation and patenting process required that a prototype or working model be submitted to the US PTO along with the patent application. This is no longer a legal requirement for patent applications, but building a prototype is still a great idea for many reasons.
A prototype is legally considered to be a “reduction to practice”, which means that in case a dispute arises it can help you to prove in court that you were indeed the first inventor of the product in question.
Another advantage of creating a prototype is that you can include photos of it in your inventor’s logbook, and it can help you to work out the bugs in your design and ensure your invention works properly.