Prototyping and its role in product development

Prototyping at Pezy Group

Prototyping is widely, but not exclusively, used in product development. A prototype is an early model of a product that is still under development. It is also possible to prototype a part of a product. The development of a product is an iterative process, and prototypes contribute to the continuous refinement and validation of new design concepts. At Pezy Group, we support our clients throughout the product development process.

Prototyping: what is it?

Online, prototyping is described as ‘bringing every idea from your head into its physical form’. A simple sketch on a post-it is therefore also a prototype. At Pezy Group, we usually talk about prototyping when it comes to mock-ups, functional models, or demonstrators. In addition, at Pezy Group an intermediate form is also possible with Virtual Reality. A three-dimensional simulation of a design is then shown to a person by means of a VR headset.

Prototypes enable designers to test (new) functionalities, materials, and concepts. These tests then provide new insights to further develop and improve the product. Prototypes contribute to the continuous refinement and validation of new design concepts.

Prototyping: how do we apply it?

Prototypes are often used to reveal assumptions and biases about design and to uncover insights about future users. During the product development process, various prototypes are often designed. In every development phase we make choices in functionality, finish and details. When the fidelity of a prototype is higher, the development and production costs are naturally also higher. It is therefore recommended to work from low to high fidelity as the product idea becomes more concrete. In this way we make optimum use of lead time and costs.

At Pezy Group, we save time and money by testing ideas with prototypes. Prototyping is used for many reasons, including these (non-mutually-exclusive) categories:

Empathy: Prototyping is a tool to deepen the understanding of the design space and the user, even in a pre-solution phase of a project.
Research: Designers build prototypes to shape your thoughts and offer you the opportunity to develop multiple solution options.
Testing: Create prototypes (and develop the context) to test and refine solutions together with users.
Inspiration: Inspire others (team members, clients, customers, investors) by showing your vision.

Prototypes help test design and features and allow designers to pitch their ideas in a convincing way. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand pictures. In addition, prototyping is a powerful tool that eliminates ambiguity and prevents miscommunication. A prototype can also be a valuable conversation starter for conversations with users or clients.

Prototyping: production of prototypes

The Pezy Group pilot factory is a workshop that is well equipped to make both simple and technically more advanced prototypes using different production techniques. Our specialists support our customers by producing good quality prototypes in a short period of time. We use various techniques for this, such as milling and 3D printing. 3D printing creates the possibility to prototype functional, detailed and complex parts. It is also possible to test different material properties fast.

With 25 years of experience in product development, we have built up a lot of knowledge. We are happy to use this knowledge for an efficient design process, short delivery times, and of course for the creation of prototypes.

We make it work!