Prototyping is the step in which you take your concepts and turn them into something tangible. This is one of the most important stages, as this is where you discover all the flaws of the build stage. as can be seen below you have to go through many iterations before you get one that works well enough to take to the next step, user trials.
There are many different types of prototyping, electrical, service, working, aesthetical, storyboard, sketch.. etc. some examples can be seen below: I believe that it is important to prototype as quickly as possible, to learn as much as possible as soon as possible. By doing this I tend to go through many iterations of the same concept. I always test my prototypes with real users, this allows me to implement and develop real user study’s improving the human factors in my products as a whole.
I like to start prototyping with paper ort card (sketch prototyping) this form of prototyping allows me to visualise and present the form of my concepts. Next I use a more sturdy material such as MDF or clay to prototype the functions of the design. I then finally work with finer materials such as hard wood ceramics and plastics to create the final piece. Throughout my process I will actively use found object to enhance my prototypes. For example I once used the components from an old radio rather than create my own, hence saving time.
I have a deep passion for prototyping and creating; because of this I have developed an extensive knowledge on materials and manufacturing processes. I prefer to use hands on physical prototyping to any other computer based method, by doing this I believe it is simpler to realise problems in a design.