How Much Does It Cost to Create a Prototype?

by Charles Timbang

When thinking about developing a mobile app or a new product that’s fit to be in the market, most product designers settle for creating prototypes. This is why there are lots of existing prototype manufacturing companies.

Why create prototypes in the first place? Because they often serve as proof of an idea or a concept. They also help you show your potential clients what you’re up to. That way, they will know how to finalize their decisions regarding what you are working on.

In this blog post, you will find out the cost of making a prototype; 3D printing, mobile app, and electronic prototypes.

This article will discuss how much it costs to make a prototype, including 3D printed, mechanical, electrical, mobile app, and other prototypes.

What factors affect the cost of prototypes?

Several factors contribute to the price of creating a prototype. Some of these factors include:

  • Production techniques
  • Scale and complexity of design
  • Components and materials
  • Amount of labor
  • Design modifications
  • Unforeseen problems

How much does it cost to create a product prototype?

The following are different types of products and how much it costs to make their prototypes:

1. 3D printing

It will cost around $30 to $3,000 to create a basic prototype using 3D printing. In this case, the cost of the final prototype will depend on the complexity of the 3D printed design and the size of the product.

2. Mobile app

There are two stages of creating a prototype for a mobile app.

First, you start by building a mock-up of the mobile app’s user interface (UI). This process is relatively inexpensive if you have a graphic design tool or any other designated tool for prototyping.

In creating a mobile app prototype, a designer can spend around $80 to $8,000. His cost, however, depends on the number of screens that you want to design on. Also, you may want to consider the quality of design and layout complexity.

Secondly, you use coding to develop a fully functional mobile app prototype. You can either learn how to code or contact an expert to help you. The cost will depend on the scale and complexity of the mobile app. If there’s a new technology you will need to develop in the process, you may want to factor it in too.

On average, a mobile app prototype can cost up to $20,000. If the mobile app has spectacular features, it can cost a lot of money at the end of the day.

3. Complex electronics

If you need to program the prototype or it contains electronics, expect to pay about $5,000 to $50, 000. Some high-end electronics will also require several thousand. The following factors will affect the price of complex electronics:

  • The type of software involved
  • The product’s uniqueness
  • The scale of the electric circuit

Final Thoughts

Overall, the costs of the products will reduce as the volume of your production increases. Note, the cost of the prototype will never be the same as the cost of manufacturing.

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