How much does it cost to manufacture a working prototype?

You will agree with us that defining how much it costs to manufacture a working prototype is key when starting the process. If so, this post is for you.

There are two premises that you should keep in mind when you are ready to listen to or analyze budget quotes for the design and manufacturing of your working prototype:

  1. The budget for your working prototype bears NO relationship whatever to the price of the materials needed to build it.

  1. The budget to design and manufacture your working prototype bears no relationship whatever to the price that your end product will have in the marketplace.

That being said, the sum of the costs of materials required to 3D-print the housings of your product, the price of the sensors required to achieve the basic functions of your working prototype, the cost of the motors and any batteries required, does not add up to even 1% of the budget necessary to design and manufacture the first version of your working prototype.

So, what is considered when quoting a budget for a working prototype?

Our formula has no secrets.

Technical complexity

Added complexity



At Let's Prototype, we study in a very detailed fashion the functional requirements of each and every invention. To establish the level of TECHNICAL COMPLEXITY, we focus on the following elements:

  • Specialized areas that will have to coexist in developing the working prototype (Mechanics, Design, Electronics, Computer Science, etc.)
  • Manufacturing methods applicable to the prototype development process. 
  • Level of validation regarding the functions required by the inventor.
  • Possible research load in the working prototype development process.

Once the level of technical complexity of the working prototype has been defined, the ADDED COMPLEXITY analysis is conducted; this level is established taking into account criteria such as:

  • End use of working prototype. 
  • Level of added complexity based on optimization achieved by possible competitors of the inventor. 
  • Freedom of innovation in process. 
  • Provision of continuity in business development process in later stages. 

Where is the most critical point when defining the budget for the design and manufacturing of a working prototype?

Prototyping and engineering companies, as a general rule, quote budgets that do not include 100% of the work cycles necessary to obtain an innovative prototype. Open innovation processes require a process of trial and error that is really difficult to calculate before entering the cycle. At PROTOTÉCNICA, we have developed our proprietary method, "ASPIRA," which allows us to know in advance the level of complexity and number of iteration cycles required. Therefore, you will receive, in any case, budget quotes for 100% achievement of the functional requirements that we may identify in the process of kick-starting the project.

We are aware of the effort you’re making to obtain your first prototype, financed in many cases with family funds. That’s why we do not allow any surprises. 

We can't commit to quoting you the lowest budget in the market— it probably isn't—but the more than 100 inventors and corporations that have trusted our team with the development of their products have not only obtained a working prototype, but a real business opportunity. 

If you would like us to analyze your idea and invention to obtain a totally firm budget quote, just leave us your data and we will contact you immediately. 

If you would like us to define in less than 72 hours how much it costs to manufacture your prototype, you can schedule a call immediately HERE

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