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 Has anyone had a prototype made in China ???

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ali




PostSubject: Has anyone had a prototype made in China ???   Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:43 pm

I've heard that I can have a prototype made in China for a fraction of the cost of having one done here. My questions are:

1. Does that put me at risk for my idea to be stolen and manufactured In China, since my PPA only covers me in the USA ?

2. If it's a good idea, does anyone how I can go about having some made? I have one product that would be made of steel and others made of plastic.

Thanks
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Lisa Lloyd




PostSubject: Re: Has anyone had a prototype made in China ???   Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:54 pm

It really depends on the product. Generally speaking many "prototypes" are free, but it is with the intention of getting the business, not just doing a prototype. If you want to build an inventory, then it is a good way to go. If not, you are better off finding a US prototyper to make it for you.

As for safety, if you do not have a patent, you are always running a risk, but most Chinese facrories do not have US distribution, so if they do knock you off, it is likely that they will only sell it in their respective territories.

This is a vague answer, but best I can do without more information. Hope it helps.

Happy Inventing,

Lisa Lloyd
www.LloydMarketingGroup.com
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StephenBozzone



Location : Research Triangle NC

PostSubject: Re: Has anyone had a prototype made in China ???   Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:53 pm

Ali,

It depends on the product and what you need the prototype for. Here is a good general Wikipedia article on prototypes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype

You really need to know what is the purpose of the prototype. Start with the end in mind. A prototype is usually made to prove out the concept to make sure it works before committing to a production manufacturing process.

I’ve made prototypes out of cardboard, wood, or from parts of other products. I then move to more refined models called SLAs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo_lithography. If the part I was working on is injection molded, I would get an aluminum prototype tool made for about $3,000. If the sales volume was high enough, it would justify a production tool.

Alternatives:
Can you make a prototype yourself out of household materials?
Can you get an illustration made with a program like Adobe Illustrator?
Do you need a CAD model give the proper detail to communicate the idea to a licensee?

Things to consider:
Does the cost of the prototype include design engineering or just fabricating the prototype?
Working with a domestic company is usually easier; you are probably close to the same time zone so you can call if you have questions and you’ll get your parts faster.

Now to answer your questions:
1. Does that put me at risk for my idea to be stolen and manufactured In China, since my PPA only covers me in the USA ?
In my opinion, you are at potential risk. You can ask the company to sign a non-disclosures agreement (NDA) but as for me, I would not take a chance to save money.

2. If it's a good idea, does anyone how I can go about having some made? I have one product that would be made of steel and others made of plastic.

Short answer: If it is made of steel or some type of metal, a prototype part may be machined out of a block of metal depending on the shape of the part. If it something thin, then a sheet metal part can be cut and bent into shape. I can refer you to some domestic companies I’ve worked with that make small quantities of prototype parts.

For plastic you may be able to machine it from a block of plastic. A rapid prototype can also be made. It’s a process like a 3-D inkjet printer, where the part is made one layer at a time.

I can refer you to some domestic companies I’ve worked with that make prototype parts.
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ali




PostSubject: Re: Has anyone had a prototype made in China ???   Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:07 am

Thank You Lisa and Stephen for that very helpful information.

Stephen - could you send me the domestic companies you have worked with please? We need to prove the one made of steel works before we can go further with it.
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