ELECTRONIC PROTOTYPE PROCESS
1. Fill out, sign and send a Non Disclosure Form to me – or documentation of a patent filed or granted. This is to protect your idea. Be specific in your description. You should not share your idea with anyone without one of these signed by both parties.
2. Call me to discuss the details of your idea, to determine if what I offer is a good fit. At this point, I may offer a number of suggestions based on the realities of engineering.
3. E-mail me the detailed specifications including any drawings or diagrams (napkin sketches are fine). This email becomes the de-facto contract that defines your expectations.
4. I provide you with an estimate to complete a first working prototype. Note! I can NOT provide any estimate without full and complete details – every job is different. My estimates are not fixed bids. I will notify you of any significant issues that may affect costs, so there are no surprises. The final amount may be more or less depending on how the job goes.
5. When you approve the estimate, I send an invoice for 50% of the estimated amount by PayPal – which you can pay with debit or credit.
Work begins upon receipt of your payment, with detailed progress reports that include visual documentation, as well as, written every step of the way.
How I Work – Next Steps
I design a schematic that shows how all the components will interconnect.
I design a circuit board using CAD that is sent to a circuit board fabricator.
Circuit Board Assembly
Once I have the circuit board, I solder the components to it and test it to make sure it works properly.
Firmware Design and Circuit Testing
Most products I design require a microcontroller – a tiny computer with firmware (coding) to define how it works. So I write the code and test it to make sure everything works.
Throughout the process I send regular updates by email.
Click here to see a blog post describing how I design a product from start to finish.
Most jobs are completed within 2 to 5 weeks.
I document the final working project for you and demonstrate it via images, video or Skype.
Final payment is then due, prior to shipping the prototype to you.
Prototype to Finished Product
At this point, you will have a proof of concept prototype, which may or may not be manufacturable depending on your goals and budget limitations. You may then hire me to do a final production design revision and prepare a bill of materials and production CAD files necessary to get bids for manufacturing. This process can take months to years as the prototypes are tested in the real world; where we learn how they perform and modify or improve them as needed.
I can also provide contract manufacturing services for small production runs.
Product Design and Fabrication
If you need help with the physical design of your prototype, I can refer you to a trusted product designer who has 3D printing technology capability. A less cost efficient option is to use my skills to hand-fabricate or modify existing enclosures for your device. I am skilled in working with plastic, metal or wood with a fully equipped machine shop. You can see the range of art and products I have crafted here and learn about my breadth of experience engineering for other artists here.
My machine shop is equipped with:
- milling machine
- metal lathe
- wood lathe
- drill press
- belt sanders
- router table
and many other small power tools