More and more start-ups are beginning to enter the hardware landscape. In our previous article, we discussed BCI’s innovation and the company’s attempt to offer better treatment for amputees. A lot of other companies are doing the same with their product ideas, bringing more innovations to the market.
There are a few reasons why the hardware landscape is livelier than ever. For starters, you now have rapid prototyping and a wealth of other technologies to rely on when developing product ideas. At the same time, the market is growing and the demand for better, smarter devices is on the rise.
One of the things you have to figure out when trying to bring your hardware product ideas to the market is cost. The big question is, “how much will it cost to bring your hardware product to the market?”
Design and Development
The first cost element is product design and development. With a mature product idea in hand, it is now possible to develop 3D models and simulations using software. The simulations will help you figure out how the product will work in real life situations.
In terms of product design, you have more tools and technologies to work with. When trying to design a working circuit board that is both functional and compact, for example, you can use a flexible circuit board and 3D circuit design software to get the job done.
Of course, starting with good product design isn’t enough. With the help of simulations, you can take a simple product idea and really refine the concept to its market-ready phase. The cost of product design and development ranges from £1,000 to more than £50,000, depending on how you approach the development process.
The same 3D technology also enables you to go from model and design to a working prototype quickly. Using 3D printers, life-size prototypes can be developed within hours – or even minutes – rather than days. You can have every functionality simulated too.
Rapid prototyping using 3D printing certainly makes creating multiple iterations more affordable. You can either invest in a 3D printer and other tools needed for this process or rely on third-party service providers to help you get prototypes ready quickly.
If the latter is the approach you want to use, you will spend an average of £500 to £1,000 for every working prototype created. The low cost means you can have multiple versions and explore different concepts at the same time.
A working prototype that is ready for production is only the beginning. You still have to think about the packaging for the product, manufacturing costs, and of course the cost of certifications. This will depend on how you want to present your product to the customers.
There are also marketing costs and other cost elements associated with the actual process of rolling your product to the market. We are going to save the discussion about these cost elements and the different strategies you can use to introduce your product to potential customers for another article.
For now, however, you have a clearer picture of how much developing a hardware product will cost. It is certainly much more affordable to develop a product than it was a few years ago. This means you now have the ability to turn your best product ideas into actual products that customers can buy without breaking the bank.