Prototyping Your Amazon Products

Jared Haw talks through Prototyping your Amazon product stepping through the early stages of design and verification, the types of prototypes and the all important work instructions that help ensure quality and consistency in your production runs.

  • Prototyping is verifying that the design you have come up with works
  • What you see on CAD may not work in reality but prototyping enables you to verify it works in the real world

Development Types of Prototype

  • Each step of the development
  • Two main types
    • Functional
    • Aesthetics

Verification of Design & Engineering

  • Set quality standards for that prototype
  • Say you’re designing a new pen – you need to verify each part fits
  • The cap need to sit on top of the ink element, etc.
  • But when you come to make it there may be some ‘shrinkage’ in the material that you might not know
  • Verify it through a prototype and match the standards you set

Quality Reports / Production Documents / Work Instructions

  • Instruction to the online production workers or machine operators will follow
  • Work instructions for how that pen is to be assembled on the line
  • Quality instructions check the pen was developed properly
  • Functional = cap fits, screws in, pen writes well
  • Aesthetic = pantone colours, translucent, etc
  • Quality = To be objective and minimal gap so spec with numbers
  • For a crowdfunding campaign you just need ONE sample to show the market
  • If it looks good and you can show people you can come back to make changes

Types of Prototypes

  • 1st Type – Proof of Concept – to very the concept works no need for mass product materials
  • 2nd Type – Functional Prototype – more for mechanical and electrical components to test it works
  • 3rd Type – Aesthetics prototype – ergonomic as possible, hold it and feel good, colour, shape and feel looks different to the render
  • Golden Sample – Final – Brings in the aesthetics nad functional come together for production, sample you could take to investors or crowdfunding
  • Once all done you can start the tooling process or productions
  • Ready for the pilot run

Pilot Run – a prototype

  • A small percentage of the overall purchase order
  • You would build 100 units first to test the production run and check for quality and capacity issues
  • Rather have the first 10% bad than find the whole order is bad
  • Ensure all is good with the tools and production can run smoothly

Production and Work Instructions

  • With the golden sample as a reference
  • Use this as a guide to the best way to build the golden sample
  • Each part that is touched will need a work instruction on it
  • Could have hundreds of instructions
  • Functional – for a button – expect it to be pushed 10,000 times, factory uses machines to push the button that many times to test it
  • During quality specifications you try to make the parameters as specific as possible
  • Aesthetics side – define pantone, scratches, which surfaces (A is visible, B – less visible) all of these are defined in the quality specs

Lead Times

  • Plastic is one to two weeks
  • Metal is 2 weeks to a month – sometimes you need to open up some tooling
  • Electronic components can be a month to get an electronic sample

CNC or 3D

  • Plastic is most efficient with 3D printing
  • For tight tolerances use CNC – 0.05 tolerance is very precise but more expensive and needs more tooling
  • For basic function and aesthetics – 3D Printing should be fine
  • CNC is more for precisions
  • die-cast is opening up a tool or a mould – so not so good for prototype


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