CH 12 – Prototyping
• Industrial Designers produce prototypes as their concepts
• Engineers prototype a design
• Software developers write prototype programs
Prototype: it is an approximation of the product along one or more dimensions of
Types of Prototypes:
it can be classified in 2 dimensions: 1) Physical and analytical 2)comprehensive and
• 1) Physical: They are tangible artifacts crated to approximate the product
o Analytical: they represent the product in a nontangible, usually
mathematical or visual, manner. Interesting aspects of the product are
analyzed, rather than built.
• 2) Comprehensive: they implement most, if not all, all the attributes of a product.
A comprehensive prototype corresponds closely to the everyday use of the word
prototype, in that it is a full-scale, fully operational version of the product
o Focused: they implement one, or a few, of the attributes of the product.
What are prototypes used for? 4 purpose!
• Learning: will it work?, how well does it meet the customer needs?
• Communication: prototypes enrich communication with top management.
Vendors, partners, extended team members, customers and investors.
• Integration: Prototypes are used to ensure that components and subsytems of the
product work together as expected. Comprehensive physical prototypes are most
effective as integration tools in product development projects because they require
the assembly and physical internconnection of all the parts and subassemblies that
make up a product.
• Milestones: Particularly in the later stages of product development, prototypes
are used to demonstrate that the product has achieved a desired level of
functionality. Principles of Prototyping
• Analytical prototypes are generally more flexible than physical prototypes
o Because an analytical prototype is a mathematical approximation of the
product, it will generally contain parameters that can be varied in order to
represent a range of design alternatives. In most cases, changing a
paramenter in analytical prototype is easier than changing an attribute of a
• Physical Prototypes are required to detect unanticipated phenomena
o A physical prototype often exhibits unanticipated phenomena completely
unrelated to the original objective of the prototype.
• A prototype may reduce the