Mindtribe’s Andrew Dupree has a great post asking, “How long does it take to manufacture a hardware product?” From sophisticated iPhones to seemingly simple things like LEGOs, the process involves engineering, design, and production validation tests – and ultimately results! Things can and will go wrong, with one difference between a potentially successful process and a potential failure is if you’re ready and tooled for any sudden changes.
The hardware development process is a real challenge if you’ve never been through it before. There are so many steps to get from concept to production, so many details to get right. And – especially as a startup – so little room for error!
But in a lot of ways, the process is getting easier. The ecosystem of hardware tools and resources is growing quickly. Great prototyping devices like Arduino make developing that first concept prototype easier than ever. 3D printing can help you validate your enclosures in no time. You can often find yourself at a great looks-like/works-like prototype in record time. And even from there, folks like Dragon Innovation can help you get your CM worked out, get your DFM feedback implemented, etc.
So now you just tell your manufacturer to hit the big “GO” button, and it’s off to the races, right?