Dreaming of new products is fun, but the work needed to bring them to market is less enjoyable. Marketing an invention means convincing hard-headed business people that they can make a profit from selling it to wholesalers, retailers and ultimately the consumer. This takes a formidable array of facts, from the actual dimensions and assembly processes to the way the end user will interact with the product.
Invention marketing also requires clever presentation materials. Executives are rarely visual people. They may not be able to see a product in their heads from a verbal or written description. Actually selling a product requires engineering drawings, and is a lot easier if the package also includes illustrations of the product and animations of the way the device functions in use. If the inventor has the budget, a physical prototype can be a very helpful marketing tool.
Specialised Services for Inventors
The complexities of graphic design engineering may be out of the scope of the product’s inventor, and the complicated process of getting a patent almost certainly is. This does not mean that individuals cannot successfully market products. It just means they need a little help, possibly from an invention development company. This help can take several forms.
Skilled mechanical drafters can take the designer’s notes and develop engineering drawings using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) system in a very short time, or use precision measuring tools to take field measurements and draw from them. Today the CAD process usually starts with developing a three dimensional model. The drafter starts with an outline view, extrudes it into a solid model and then adds and subtracts other solids to achieve a model of each part of the product. The parts can then be “assembled” on screen as a preliminary test to see if they actually fit. When the assemblies are finalised, the drafter uses them to project and dimension the detail drawings that manufacturers will need to evaluate a product.
Some CAD software’s can do rudimentary rendered illustrations, and some modern programs are capable of limited animation, but the advanced materials needed for marketing will require entirely different software and the services of a graphic designer. These skilled craftsmen can communicate a product visually to a lay person who may not be familiar with engineering drawings. They can do elaborate models and animations, and their understanding of colour, layout and technology allows them to turn out brochures, information sheets, slide presentations or even short films to help sell an invention.
Certain projects may benefit from the advice of an experienced engineer, who can advise the inventor on subjects like ergonomics and the realities of large-scale production so as to make the product more marketable. Almost all inventors will need some help in navigating the patent process and getting protection for the invention. Often all these services can be found under one roof in the form of an invention development company that specialises in graphic design engineering, the process of bringing a designer’s concepts into material, market-ready form.