Have you ever made anything, and just gone straight to making the final piece? What happened to what you made? Did it go as you planned? Usually, when we do projects we’re asked to ‘just go for it’. But, what if it messes up? What if it turns out to be a disaster the night before it was due? This is why we have the idea of prototyping. We replicate the final project so we’re not left with a mess.
What is a prototype? A prototype is a replica of your final piece, where you can test out flaws. Since it’s made out of cheap materials you can fix your issues and correct it. So when you go to make your final product, you have already fixed what you know would’ve gone wrong. As 8th graders, last year we did a really big project where we had to design lawn ornaments for a client. We couldn’t just make something out of the blue, we had to go interview someone and collaborate making the idea our own. We started out we by brainstorming and sketching our ideas out. It did take us a while, but was worthwhile. Our final piece was successful. You could say that a lot of people thought the process we used to develop our ideas was a big waste of time. But after we had finished, some of us realized, that if we hadn’t made our prototypes, some of our project would’ve failed miserably. If we hadn’t practiced using the saw to cut our designs out of the wood, and had just gone and cut with our final pieces of wood, the people with the more intricate designs’ boards would’ve broken.
- It’s cheap, so if you mess up it’s not like you just wasted a lot of money.
- You can see all the flaws you have
- You can correct those flaws
- Your final piece will be flaw-free
There are many ways to make a prototype. You can use any materials you want. Sometimes the materials you want can change, so be open to new materials. You start your prototype up by first making a technical drawing, that shows a scale model of your vision with dimensions so you know how to make it! You can also transfer your invention into a 3D software, such as Inventor or Google Sketch Up. Once you have created your visual included with dimensions you need to make a materials list. Always have a budget in mind so you don’t over spend! Remember, your prototype is a first model of your final product, you don’t want to spend too much money on it, and plus, what if your invention is faulty! Then take your materials and build your prototype! Sometimes, your invention can be very tricky. Certain people tend to hire professional prototypers, who are specialized in making, well prototypes! But those people cost a lot!
Here are some prototypes of things you see a lot
A polaroid Camera
|An ipad||A guitar|
How will we use it?
When we do modules we are given challenges, usually one is an independent challenge and the other one is a group challenge. For our group challenges we usually have to make something. We have to go through a process. Weprototype everything we do. Even this blog post is a prototype. We are fixing it as we go along. We make a replica of everything we post so we can fix it, and make sure our final product that is getting graded isthe best possible.
Later on in the year, we will apply to make a makers project. We will use the design process to invent something that will beuseful to our basic needs. In order to make this idea a reality we will have to test out our ideas by making a prototype. If we decided to just go ahead and produce our final product, we would see that we would have ended up with a lot of flaws. If we used expensive materials, we would’ve just wasted a lot of money. So, prototyping as a whole is a great thing. We can fix what we need to on a replica of your idea. No harm done.