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What Are the Different Types of Prototype Tools?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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There are many different types of prototype tools available for those hoping to construct their ideal prototypes. These range from the common to the complex, the everyday to the specialized. A person building a garage-type invention, for example, may use prototype tools consisting of a hammer, nails, screw driver, and so on. More complex inventions might require sophisticated technology or large machinery.

Above and beyond the mechanical side of things is another possible interpretation of prototype tools. The technological boom has created a new range of software and technology products that also need to be prototyped. Sometimes, the tools used to refine these items are more computer based.

Software-based prototype tools are the new wave of product alteration. These products allow users to design and modify their products very easily before any actual construction begins, that is, if the product is an object. Software prototype modifications are also beneficial because they can be easily shared with others.

The sharing feature is key in prototype development. The overall point of a prototype is to use it as somewhat of a rough draft, enabling developers to interact with potential users in the name of product improvement. Software prototype tools allow this important process to take place very easily.

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Another advantage of computer-based tools for developing products is that templates exist, which make software programs user friendly. This is a technological age, but not everyone is technologically savvy. A template gives novice users the ability to easily use software by lending them a guiding hand. Templates are analogous to a stencil used by an artist trying to draw something. They don't actually do the work, but they make sure the work is done in the proper format.

Mechanical prototype tools are obviously different but still important. Sometimes, a product might not be the next iPhone app but rather a more tangible creation. A stapler is a good example. All of the parts of a stapler need to be made, and this stapler relies heavily on machinery to compose each working unit.

Additionally, the machinery could put all of the units together to make a larger product. Sometimes, prototype tools may be utilized for refining a product. If this stapler, for example, is too big or too rough, a tool could shave part of it off to reduce the size or make the product smoother. The amount of prototype tools available is plentiful; it's just a matter of finding the right set for the particular product.

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