Whether you’re an entrepreneur just venturing into the world of new products, or an established business or shop owner with an idea on how to expand your existing product line, the product development process holds the same excitement, opportunity and promise. The product development phase acts as a critical bridge in the manufacturing process between pure brainstorming or ideation, and the production phase of your new product rollout. In short, product development is where your concept becomes reality.
Advances and improvements in 3D printing have raised the technology’s profile as a game-changer in manufacturing over the last several years. While rapid prototyping and the additive manufacturing methods that 3D printing comprises have been around in some form for decades, the greater accessibility, affordability and versatility that today’s 3D printing offers mean that its potential to change manufacturing as a whole is at an all-time high.
Manufacturing shouldn’t be intimidating for a budding startup — but it’s understandable that sometimes, it can be. The mysteries of the unfamiliar processes, terminology and methods that are revealed once you look closer into the “how” of taking your product to market can seem overwhelming. Manufacturing does, like any other aspect of your business plan, demand education and research. Fortunately, by investing the required time to learn some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid, the production step of your product can be solved and perfected, just like other areas like your marketing or distribution plans. You’ve found a good place to start: here are five of the biggest mistakes for a startup to avoid before selecting a manufacturer.