For start-ups or companies working to get by on a thin budget in today’s economy, innovation and new products can provide a huge boost, but typically carry a substantial degree of risk and cost that can be too much for a company to take on. In the case of physical products, this is often because of the cost of creating a prototype, whether it’s for the company to analyze physical possibilities, or for pitches to investors. Ideally, prototypes are the step that helps companies assess feasibility and modify ideas, but depending on the product and its market, producing a prototype can be the end of the line for a business if it doesn’t come through the way it was imagined or designed.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to complete prototyping, particularly in the early stages of product development. For simulating a product’s size, scale, or market potential, profile cut foam materials are superb for prototyping because they can minimize development costs while maximizing development potential.
Imagine you’re ready to present your first-draft idea to an investor or project supervisor. When all that’s needed is an understanding of the size and complexity of an object and not specific details, using rubber sheet or foam rubber blocks, carved and cut to proper dimensions, can be much more affordable than investing in materials that require unnecessary overhead. This is particularly important in early stages when a product can be approved in concept, with the stipulation for additions or changes to meet final approval.
Even if you or your company already specializes in foam manufacturing, it’s still easy to save on prototyping by using the right materials. Perhaps you’re considering a new style of exercise mat or comfort cushion. Instead of investing in the high-end material it will eventually be made of, more affordable substitutes can be used to create early mock-ups without wasting more expensive materials when basic idea and design testing is all that’s being focused on. For example, a new custom memory foam pillow shape design can be created easily from memory foam, but if you’re only seeing how a new shape translates, or are examining its aesthetics, cheaper foam can be used to do those things while keeping costs low. To get even the best ideas off the ground, it requires creativity and planning, and using foam efficiently is one way to get to where you need to go.