Building prototypes and models is an essential component of any design activity. Modern product development is a multi-disciplinary effort that relies on prototyping in order to explore new ideas and test them sufficiently before they become actual products. Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design illustrates how prototypes are used to help designers understand problems better, explore more imaginative solutions, investigate human interaction more fully and test functionality so as to de-risk the design process. Following an introduction on the purpose of prototyping, specific materials, tools and techniques are examined in detail, with step-by-step tutorials and industry examples of real and successful products illustrating how prototypes are used to help solve design problems. Workflow is also discussed, using a mixture of hands-on and digital tools. A comprehensive modern prototyping approach is crucial to making informed design decisions, and forms a strategic part of a successful designer's toolkit.
Bjarki Hallgrimsson is a practising product development consultant and an Associate Professor at the School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ottawa.