“Product development is always challenging, yet exciting.”
With several products on the market and Reddot Awards under our belt, we at Netalux can say quite a bit about the whole process from idea to product.
From idea in your head to prototype in your hand
Everything starts with an idea. This can be simple, or it can be so crazy that you can't even wrap your head around it. And that's when the engineer comes into the picture. In our case, it's Thijs Peeters. He is going to make sure that the breathtaking conceptual design is also manufacturable in real-life.
Quantity-related fabrication techniques, cost, time-to-market schedule, product family legacy,... are all constraints you have to consider when designing a product. If you don't, the prototype is probably going to differ greatly from the initial design. The key to making the best design and prototype, is understanding manufacturing techniques and working with good partners early on in the production phase.
Many hours of CAD work and part sourcing later, the world will see the long expected functional prototype... But a prototype is not yet the final destination of the journey. The product itself still needs to be made, which is a challenge on its own.
Your prototype isn’t your final product
Once you show the prototype, the pressure is on: customers craving to get their hands on the new machine, salespeople dying to perform the first live demos, company management aiming for fast ROI etc. As much as you want to start selling the new product, it is still your job as a developer to make it clear that the prototype is not for sale. Do you know why? Most people only see a shiny new product, while a developer knows better than that. While the prototype may look shiny, there are still minor tweaks that need to be made to make the product work properly.
At Netalux, we strive to bring the best products to the market. Therefore, we take the final step in the production process very seriously to achieve total design satisfaction. We admit, this tension between both fields is sometimes hard to manage, but we'll tell you a secret: without it we wouldn't be able to create next-level products at all.