A prototype represents an idea. It is a physical representation of an idea in an appearance or functional form.
Appearance prototypes allow quick evaluation of surface designs, colors and textures. Functional prototypes allow the assessment of the stress and durability of a part.
Prototypes are low cost, allowing many iterations of a design to be generated. Improvements to successive prototypes evolve the idea over time.
A final prototype simulates the form and function of the intended product. Prototypes help investors test the product’s marketability. Financial resources are then secured to produce it.