A Guide To Prototype Cost: Everything You Need to Know
Having a clear view of the prototyping budget and being aware of all the factors that could affect its cost is something that every customer looks for. A simple yet clear understanding of these factors, how they influence the prototype design cost, and where you can manage them is not a manageable chunk of information to collect.
That is why we curated this comprehensive list of factors and some tentative rates of prototype design. One must know that these factors and costs can change depending on external factors that might not be mentioned here. It can be subjected to specific requirements or conditions.
Cost Of Prototyping A Product At Every Stage:
Here is a table representing how much does it cost to prototype a product based on the stage of manufacturing and what type of prototype will be available at each stage.
|Final Product for Set-up
|Types of Prototypes
|User interface mock-ups Foam models Wireframes, virtual 3D renderings
|Scale models of product. Proof of concept: hand-built models
|Fully functional alpha prototype
|Fully completed prototype
The production stage of the prototype need not be the same as shown in the table. Depending on the design agency, professionals, and project size, it can increase or change.
The Factors That Influence Prototype Expenses
Prototype design cost is like a mirage, you might think that the budget is fixed but somehow, through different aspects or multiple revisions, it keeps moving ahead. Here are some of the common factors that affect the cost of making prototypes:
1. Project Complexity And Scope
- Compared to 2D prototyping, a 3-dimensional prototype is much more complex and significantly influences the cost of prototyping.
- With complexity, there will be an increase in the amount of time and service from professional designers. This will, in turn, add to the prototype design concept.
- Some complex designs that have not been previously designed or are entirely new and innovative make this task even more expensive for prototyping.
2. 3D Modelling And Animation
- In 3D prototyping, the creation of 3D models and animations is a crucial part.
- Depending on the complexity of the 3D model, the number of animations and fine detailing increase the 3D prototyping cost.
- Diverse techniques are used to create these models, including polygonal modeling, NURBS modeling, and sculpting, to craft these 3D elements.
- To add movement to these 3D models, animation is used. It makes the prototype more interactive and illustrative, with every design incorporated in each animation frame.
3. 3D Software And Tools
- Designers require a wide range of 3D software and tools that help them create 3D models and animations.
- Mostly, the software used for 3D prototype modeling and animation is costly in licensing, influencing the cost of prototyping.
- Sometimes, specific prototype designs require advanced tools that are used in collaboration with multiple platforms to create the particular model.
- Tip: To avoid this external factor from influencing the overall prototype cost, one can always choose an experienced design team.
4. Prototyping Type
- The type of prototype required by a customer is also one factor that influences the cost of prototyping.
- As illustrated in the table, the cost of prototyping for a low-fidelity wireframe is comparatively less than that of a high-fidelity wireframe.
- The types of prototypes that require a lot of interactive and realistic animations also increase the prototype service cost.
5. Platform And Devices
- The devices where the prototypes would be worked on also raise the prototype design cost.
- This is primarily because these prototypes would require flexibility to function across different platforms and devices.
- Their designs and prototypes would differ mainly in terms of all the components, especially 3D prototypes intended to work on small screens like mobile phones.
- Ensuring that the prototype, irrespective of its type, must be compatible with any platform/device in all resolutions and without losing any of its properties makes the design process more complicated. This will eventually increase the prototype design cost.
6. User Testing And Feedback
- User testing for 3D prototypes requires different, unique environments like VR or other 3D spaces. This requirement makes the prototype design cost more than user testing for 2D designs or prototypes.
- Specific 3D prototypes would also require participants for user testing, which will increase prototype service costs.
- After user testing, feedback is collected to improve parts of prototypes that require revision and thus add to the expenses.
- Analyzing the feedback and crafting a data analysis will require professional data analysts and more time. These processes indirectly affect the prototype cost.
7. Design Team Expertise
- Different 3D prototyping requires a different level of expertise and designers who can work together as a team to produce the specified product.
- As the prototype moves from a simple to a complex design, the prototype design cost also shifts from a lower range to an expensive one.
- Understanding the budget of the design agency or professionals you choose for prototyping is an essential factor, especially if you are looking for a cost-effective prototype design.
8. Geographical Location
- Yes, you read it right. The geographical location of the designers, as well as the customer, influences the prototype service cost.
- Regions with a higher living cost can often charge you more than other urban spaces where the prototype design cost would be comparatively less.
9. Revisions And Iterations
- After prototyping, testing, and user feedback, the 3D prototype often undergoes revisions to meet efficiency.
- Iterations of these prototype designs increase the delivery timeline and thus increase the cost of the prototype.
- Since animations and 3D prototypes require a lot of complex designing, revisions can be much more expensive than a 2D prototype.
10. Additional Services And Project Management
- One optional yet important aspect of prototyping is providing additional services and effective management of the project.
- Sometimes, project management can require external resources, affecting the overall 3D prototyping design cost.
From Concept To Creation: 3D Prototyping Partner
Having gained a deep insight into how much does it cost to prototype a product, you may now wonder where to get one done. Prototyping is a crucial process of branding and brand building because it becomes a base of the product your users are expected to choose. Therefore, opting for a reliable and experienced prototyping partner who can align according to your needs is necessary to create a prototype that matches your concept.
With immense and diverse experience in prototyping services, Hogoco is one of the leading design agencies. Specializing in UI/UX designs, the company provides a comprehensive and efficient service for any project or customer approaching them. Equipped with some of the advanced technologies, Hogoco provides prototyping services with 3D printing, scanning, and modeling technologies.