#CES2019 – Hand finished prototypes will make you shine.

January 9, 2019

We all want to go to #CES2019 fully prepared. Hell, we have spent 12 months (or longer) on our new design that is debuting at #CES2019 so that is loads of time to get it right, to be able to show up with full production product to display. Product that has been fully vetted and fully tested and fully approved and fully endorsed. Right?

If you are in the product development world then you know that the situation above is rarely true. The reality is that we are often taking prototype or low-volume manufactured product to shows like #CES2019 and there is nothing wrong with it. In some cases it can be advantageous not to be completely tooled up, as a show like #CES2019 is a great place to get initial market feedback of your new product offer. To see if you need to make any adjustments before fully committing to production runs. But, if you were hoping to debut with production product and you are not ready, the trick is to make sure that no one can tell that you are in fact showing them a prototype product. You may choose to disclose it. But if your prototype part can fool people then it is better to make them think you are further along in your product development cycle.

How to achieve this? Find a rapid prototype partner who can produce first-class prototype parts/products. A rapid prototype partner that has multiple finishing options on offer, not just basic options like painting but a full range of cutting edge finishing options. Ideally, a partner who, in an increasingly digital manufacturing world, has the ability, experience, and talent to hand-finish your parts when needed. So that any slight imperfection from the automated process can be eliminated through craftsmanship.

When it comes to a one-off prototype or trade show samples or samples that you will show to investors and buyers, it is often the surface finishing and the feel of the part/product that can make or break your project. That fine detail in the corners, on the edges, in the hidden recesses of your part/product, that when done right can be the difference between winning or losing an order. That seamless paint job, that perfectly roughed up surface finish, that rubber overmold feature that puts your part/product ahead of the rest, all of these finishing options and more help you win over investors and buyers. Some can be achieved with automated processes but for low run parts you will likely need quality hand-finishing as part of the roadmap to first-class prototype products that look, act, and feel like production parts.

Trade shows like #CES2019 are too important to not impress. Don’t let your competition impress over your offer, make sure your product offer shines, even if you don’t have a full budget for final production. Technology for rapid prototyping is essential in the modern day, partnering technology solutions with hand-finishing can be the difference between a great part/product and a good part/product. Choose great, choose partners who can deliver great.

Gary Moran

At HLH, we make things for you – FreeQuote@HLHPrototypes.com

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