Prototyping is an extremely important step in the product development process and needs to be planned for and invested in wisely.
As the desire to innovate while also striving to beat competitors to market, the need for thoughtful rapid prototyping becomes critical. The balancing act between trying to get to the market before the "current" technology becomes outdated can also be very difficult to achieve. It is also necessary to make sure that you are giving customers enough polish and care within your products to keep them attracted while, at the same time, trying to expedite products into the market.
Adding to the challenge is the continual introduction of the new high-tech components. Let’s take a more in-depth look at why rapid prototyping in-house is the only option for truly innovative manufacturers.
The best in-house PCB prototyping machines all have one thing in common: short turnaround times. This means that new prototypes can be created within hours.
When you can tweak a PCB design many times in the course of the day, an engineer is allowed to think freely. It's impossible to gain insight and make advances any other way. Discovering layout flaws before the engineer moves too far along is an obvious benefit. But how about discovering a new material that works better than the last, or reduces waste because of increased density?
While the capacity to have more freedom to explore ideas is great for the designers, the product manager gains the advantage of cutting weeks off a product rollout schedule by skipping several trips prototype boards would normally take going to and from the board house.
Another huge benefit to in-house rapid PCB prototyping is that it also allows you to create and introduce new custom variations to the same line of a product. Many buyers are in the market for hardware that is specifically tailored to fit their individual needs. The introduction of products with new features, sizes, and price points can be easily explored with rapid PCB prototyping that puts modifications at one's disposal.
The ability to have your PCB prototypes quickly produced in-house greatly reduces your cost of development and the time required to create a new product. This, in turn, gives you the ability to drastically shorten your time to market, which then gives you a valuable leg up on the competition.