Using Rapid Prototyping for Rubber Keypad Product Presentations

When creating a new product that contains custom rubber keypads, designers can use a rapid prototype as a representation before the final production. It’s useful in showing people what the product will look like. Although it can’t be used in the field for real-time situations, the detailing is at least 95 percent in comparison to the final version. Rapid prototypes are available in about two to three weeks, which is a faster lead time than most final production times. This allows the designer to use it as a visual tool in presentations, beta testing and for marketing materials. It’s helpful in a variety of industries, including auto parts, space flight components, industrial equipment, electronics, telecommunications and medical devices, to name a few.

Explaining Function
The old adage says that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when trying to explain how a product works. A rapid prototype can be used with demonstrative slide show presentations to show people what the silicone molded keypad will look like. A number of studies show that an audience will pay more attention to speeches and sales pitches when there are interesting images involved. Photos of the silicone keypad prototype can be included in a slide show or live presentation to keep the audience engaged and help them understand the functions and talking points of the design.

Beta Testing Groups
When showing the silicone keypad prototype to potential users in beta testing groups, the designer can get valuable feedback. This is an opportunity to address questions and concerns about the product while there is still time to make changes in it. Different base colors and keypad printing samples are helpful in fit, form and function analyses. The end user is often able to provide insight that the creator might not think of during the original design process.

Marketing Materials
One of the most important parts of launching new products is marketing. Brochures, commercials and printed images for storyboards are critical in devising a marketing campaign. One drawback is having to wait for the final production to be completed before the marketing campaign can be implemented. A rapid prototype is a suitable solution, acting as a stand-in for photos and commercials. It’s also ideal for trade shows, where potential clients can look at it up close for details and to achieve a better understanding of the concept.

Gaining Investors
It can be difficult to portray an inventor’s vision to a group of potential investors. Showing them what it will look like can be a determining factor in bringing them on board with financing. A silicone keypad prototype shows how big it will be, what color options are available and how the various parts of the product line up together. It makes the vision more tangible.