Hardware Startup Prototyping: A Guide by RUSHPCB Ltd
Creating a working prototype is the first step one has to go through if they have a new hardware device that they would like to sell or develop. So which is the first step to developing a prototype for a hardware setup? Well, we at RUSHPCB know that the hardware development procedure is tedious and the expected results might not be achieved at all. We, therefore, came up with a procedure where we split the whole process into two major sections’ the plastic and the electronics case.
We are professionals in the PCB world with the quality of PCB products and services that we offer to our customers improving day in day out. Pay us a visit at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ and place your quote today or interact with our sales representatives. Please join us as we discuss the two sections separately.
The Electronics Case
In this section, creating prototypes can be separated into 4 major steps. Since this section is very technical, we recommend that you hire a design engineer to design the electronics. We at RUSHPCB have qualified PCB design engineers so if you are interested in getting a PCB prototype visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/ and enjoy interacting with the experts.
- Creation of an electronic blueprint or schematic
Creating an electronic blueprint (schematic) is the first step in electronic development. Schematics provide the significant details necessary in building the electronics and specifies how the components shall be connected together. In PCBs, this helps prevent cases of wrong component connections that might lead to damage of the components due to short-circuit. On the other hand, the BOM (Bill Of Materials) is also created to provide details of every electronic component used in the design.
- Creating an intermediate prototype
This step is optional and it depends on your budget and the project that you are undertaking. The most common techniques used for this step are using breadboarding which uses methods to crudely connect the electronic components or using an existing development module like Raspberry Pi or Arduino. However, in modern PCBs, the immediate prototype can be created in any PCB design software like CAD. This is better since the software is readily available in the market.
- Creating the PCB layout
The quality of a PCB prototype depends on the method used to create it. The creation of a prototype demands the creation of a Printed Circuit Board which is a designed board holding and connecting all the electronic components on the board. The components used depends on the characteristics of the board and its application. Moreover, the electronic engineer uses a special software to convert the blueprint to a real physical Printed Circuit Board layout. This is a complex procedure since the PCB layout has an appreciable effect on the efficiency of the final product. It is, for this reason that we (RUSHPCB) recommend that you use qualified electronic engineers for creating a PCB layout and prototype. We have such skills and expertise with our electronic engineers (PCB design engineers).
- Electronics Fabrication
After the design of the PCB layout, the layout design files are passed to the production stage which is carried out by an electronics prototyping company. This is the first stage in the fabrication of an empty PCB. After the PCB is fabricated, it is assembled by soldering all the components into their designated positions. However, a high percentage of modern microchips have close pin spacing thus manual soldering becomes inefficient and automatic soldering is used instead.
- The Plastic Case
This section is used where an electronic product is enclosed in aplastic case of a kind. However, creating a prototype of such a custom shaped case requires the application of 3D printing. This can be simplified into 2 stages as shall be discussed below. In the event that you have any query or you would like to place a quote. We offer reasonable prices to all customers and customer satisfaction is our priority.
- Creating the 3D model
This is the initial step to create a computer model for the plastic parts of your product in 3D. Just like the PCB layout stage, this procedure is technical and it requires the expertise of a computer modelling (3D) expert. However, you can also do the modelling but you will have to obtain the expensive 3D modelling software first which is more expensive compared to the cost of hiring an expert.
- 3D printing
After completing the 3D model, the 3D design files are sent to a printer who does prototyping. This is a unique service since there are many prototype shops which offer 3D printing. However, if you need the printing of a Printed Circuit Board Prototyping, we recommend that you use experts who will not mess up in the printing stage. We offer this service and our team of experienced PCB prototype engineers is always ready to help our customers. On the other hand, a different option is to purchase your 3D printer although you will need the relevant skills to obtain a perfect output.
From the discussion above, you should note that a different technology is applied for the production of pieces of custom plastics in large scale. This technology is known as high-pressure injection modelling. Additionally, to transition a custom plastic design from the initial prototype to a full product is a costly and complex process. However, after obtaining a functional prototype, you can get begin getting customers, a manufacturing partner, initial feedback and investors.
The procedure to hardware startup is a long one and it all begins with the prototype. As discussed above, skills are needed in almost each stage; thus we recommend the use of experts to come up with a prototype for a hardware startup. We at RUSHPCB Ltd have experts in each stage discussed above, therefore, we come up with the prototype and proceed with the assembly stage until the final product is obtained as per your specifications. For further information, queries or to interact with our sales representatives and design engineers, visit us at https://www.rushpcb.co.uk/. We assure you of the best throughout the year. Please try us today.