Prototype is a word that is not used much with the general population. Contrarily it is used daily in the manufacturing industry. As an example let’s take a thermal coffee cup and see how it came into being. Somebody had an idea about putting a cup inside another cup while leaving a little space between the walls of the two cups. Theoretically it would insulate the contents of the cup, keeping it either hot or cold. The insulation would prevent the cup from sweating when the contents are contrasting temperatures. The new features would make it more desirable which would increase sales. The cup would sell at a higher price improving profits. At this point it is only an idea; a theory that will make money when mass produced.
The first cup has to be hand-made. Two separate cups of the appropriate sizes will probably be turned on a wood lathe and then a handle applied later. The finished product is used to shape a mold that is made from a material that will be user friendly to the material of finished product. Molds are wooden, clay, metals, plastics, earthen soil, waxes and other materials. Once the mold is smoothed and fits properly, it is ready to use. [Read more...]