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Prototyping Services

Ideas must be put to the test. That’s why we design and make prototypes; otherwise they will never be more than ideas.

Rapid prototyping is absolutely key to the success of your project. By testing and examining ideas and developments throughout your project we guard against unnecessary risks and expensive mistakes, and give you the opportunity to see your product come to life in physical form in the most cost effective manner.

Our comprehensive in-house workshop facilities include 3D printing, high-speed CNC machining, resin casting, laser cutting, laser scanning, vacuum forming and paint finishing. We are equipped to create a wide range of prototypes in a variety of materials to suit the level of product development required.

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Our advanced prototyping services make sure your products work.

  • Sketch models to quickly explore ideas and concepts
  • Appearance models for presentations and focus groups
  • Ergonomic models to evaluate usability and user interaction
  • Proof of concept rigs to put theory into practice
  • Working prototypes to test performance and function
  • Electronic prototypes to explore principles before expensive development
Prototyping Company

Sketch Models

Sketch models, foam models, or soft models are physical renderings made from soft, low cost, easy to work materials. These are generally crafted at the start of a project to evaluate, explore and assess a range of concepts. Quickly gathering information to help refine and develop your concept before progressing with Detail design.

Appearance Models

The highly realistic appearance models we produce are invaluable for testing your product with your target audience.  Once potential users have encountered a product, we can use their feedback and opinions to follow a knowledge-based design process.

The properties of the proposed design and model, including colours, finish, textures, materials and graphics, are matched as closely as possible to the finished product, so user reaction is as authentic and reliable as possible.

Proof of Concept Rigs

Building rigs early in the development of a project is essential to determine whether a theoretical concept can be turned into reality, especially if it’s truly innovative. Testing and experimentation with mechanical principals, component architecture and system integration provide valuable learnings at an early stage of development.

Our Proof of Concept Rigs, whether simple or complex, establish the foundations to refine your concept and enable further design iteration as the project transitions through the development process. Each one helps to identify the technical challenges which need addressing and to mitigate your risk downstream.

Functional Prototypes

Both working and pre-production prototypes are made to be as close as possible to the finished product in terms of materials and manufacturing process. This allows you to use and test the performance of the design – giving you real confidence as you move into the manufacturing stage.

Working prototypes are produced and constructed from a range of different processes, methodologies and materials aligned with full-scale manufacture in metals, plastics and composites, including 3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting, resin casting and pre-production tooling.

Medical Prototypes

As a medical device design consultancy, health care innovation is more than just a buzzword. It is critical to advancing patient care, improving outcomes and being able to adapt to an ever-changing industry. Getting to market rapidly with clinically important and marketable products is the challenge of medical device development. Our medical prototyping solutions enable you to optimise the design quickly so you can test, approve, and verify your product efficiently before launch.

Our experience as a product design company covers a wide range of projects, from medical devices to laboratory equipment, scientific instruments, drug delivery systems, surgical instruments, diagnostic tools and prosthetics. Utilising advanced in-house technology, we deliver medical prototypes that help you achieve the highest regulatory approvals. Manufacturing parts and components in biocompatible and compliant materials through 3D printing, CNC machining and low-volume injection moulding.

Electronic Prototypes

Electronic elements to your design can be the most costly and time-consuming components – so it makes sense to test the theory before the expense of development.

Developing an electronic prototype first assists in verifying performance and functionality without the lead times and cost. Our specialists will create an analogue prototype for rapid testing, to highlight process mapping and logic issues using versatile platforms such as a PLC, an Arduino development board or single board PC (Raspberry Pi).

Our electronic specialists produce prototypes that allow you to innovate new ideas and invest in custom hardware for your product requirements with confidence.

Ergonomic Models

Ergonomic models can be created in various sizes. They are used to review your design and optimise the size and position of features like handles, controls and displays to be sure they are right for the user. As well as small, handheld models we can also produce ergonomic rigs at a much greater scale to assess the function of large format products.

Whether we are designing for young or old, people with particular needs or the general population, our rigs and models evolve – changing to test different aspects of the product with different user groups.

View more of our Product Development Services

If you would like to hear more on how we can improve the quality of your products or help with your product development, please contact Bluefrog Design at

FAQ’s on our Rapid Prototyping Solutions

Why is prototyping important?

Prototyping is pivotal as it transforms ideas into tangible models, allowing for testing and refinement. It uncovers design flaws, enables user feedback, and simulates product functionality. By providing a hands-on preview, prototyping mitigates risks, ensuring that the final product meets quality and usability standards. Essentially, it’s a critical iterative step in design, bridging the gap between concept and real-world application, optimising both form and function.

Is rapid prototyping the same as 3D printing?

No, rapid prototyping and 3D printing aren’t the same. Rapid prototyping is a broader process of swiftly creating physical models for testing and validation, utilising various techniques. 3D printing, on the other hand, is a specific additive manufacturing method used within rapid prototyping. While 3D printing is a popular rapid prototyping tool, it’s just one of several technologies employed to materialise design concepts quickly.

How long does it take to create a prototype?

The duration to create a prototype varies significantly based on the project’s complexity, chosen materials, and prototyping method. Simple designs might take hours or days using 3D printing. Conversely, intricate, multi-component systems might demand weeks or months, especially if involving specialised manufacturing processes. Thus, while some prototypes can be swiftly realised, others require a more extended development period, dictated by project specifics.

How much does prototyping cost?

Prototyping costs fluctuate widely based on the project’s intricacy, selected materials, and the chosen prototyping technique. Basic 3D-printed models might incur minimal expenses, while intricate electronic or mechanical prototypes can increase costs of prototype manufacture. Factors like labour, iteration frequency, and specialised equipment also impact costs. Thus, while some prototypes are cost-effective, others represent substantial investments, contingent on project details.

How do we move from prototype to final product?

Transitioning from prototype to final product involves refining based on feedback, securing suppliers, and scaling for mass production. Iterative testing of the prototype highlights areas for improvement. Once optimised, sourcing reliable suppliers ensures consistent quality. Scaling considerations, like production methods and logistics, are addressed. Throughout this phase, quality assurance is vital to guarantee the final product aligns with the initial vision and meets market standards.

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