What is Prototype: Definition and 46 Discussions

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one. In some design workflow models, creating a prototype (a process sometimes called materialization) is the step between the formalization and the evaluation of an idea.A prototype can also mean a typical example of something such as in the use of the derivation 'prototypical'. This is a useful term in identifying objects, behaviours and concepts which are considered the accepted norm and is analogous with terms such as stereotypes and archetypes.
The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον prototypon, "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος prototypos, "original, primitive", from πρῶτος protos, "first" and τύπος typos, "impression".

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  1. MrAndrew

    How can I get my prototype made?

    I need a prototype built, I have made a simple "3d printed prototype", and know that it works in the way that I intended it to. However, the final prototype needs to be CNC machined from aluminum. After some googling, I got some companies's name: Xometry, Protolabs, and RapidDirect which...
  2. gumby4231

    Encasing an electronic prototype

    I'm new to this type of thing(entering the third year of electrical engineering) and could use some advice. I am working for my school and have assembled some components(Single Board Computers, a buck converter, Linear Servo, etc) for our design. We want to test the design in a three weeks. I...
  3. BillTre

    Under-the-Ice Prototype Rover for Europa

    NASA'a rover prototype floats up to the bottom of the surface ice and rolls around looking at things. It has been tested in Alaska and the Antarctic. This NY Times article has videos of it moving around and of what it sees under the Antarctica ice.
  4. Paul Colby

    How are these prototype boards used?

    Building circuits is a big potential barrier for me. It takes a lot of work and often they often don't work because, well, I'm not very good at. Anyway, when I look for prototyping boards I find a wealth of these, What they are are double sided through vias with no connection between. Now...
  5. W

    Ratio of size of prototype and model

    Homework Statement a gemoetrical similar open chanel model is constructed with 10: 1 , if the model discharged 7m^3 /s , what is the corresponding discharge in prototype? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution Q = (L^3) / T , [ (Lp^3)/ (Tp) ] / [ (Lm^3) / Tm ] = (Lr^3) / Tr [/B] but...
  6. N

    Finding the Right Weight Sensor for a Color-Changing Coaster Prototype

    Hi all, I'm new to the forum so I hope I'm posting this in the right place. I'm currently working on a senior design project which requires my team to create a working prototype of a coaster that changes color based on how full the drink on top of it is. We plan to control the prototype with...
  7. A

    Prototype Project: Linkages using Popsicle Sticks

    Hi, this is my first post. I need some ideas for my prototype project using linkages. We are required to use recycled materials like popsicle stick as a link. Our instructor ask for an equipment or device that has an input motion and output useful work. Thank you.
  8. B

    Please I will like to know how to create a prototype cell

    To experiment on dehumidification
  9. Teen4Ideas

    Is My Idea Valid? Nuclear Fusion Power

    So as we all know (or at least I assume) Global Warming is real and happening, I am a teen, 17, and not trying to get answers for homework or anything like that. I just want to know, is it possible to create fusion using the temperature found at active Geo-thermal sites to reach the temp...
  10. A

    How do I mold an elastic part for cheap?

    Hello. I'm an engineering student so don't make fun of me. I'm trying to mold an elastic cylinder. My plan for doing this is to: 1. Print out a plastic mold. 2. Buy elastic material. 3. fill the mold with elastic material. 4. wait 24 hours. I'm trying to make the cylinder as elastic as...
  11. D

    Help with Prototype: Find Cooling Fans for Solar-Powered Box

    I am currently working on a prototype for a new product. Whithout exposing the product to much it is simply put a cooling box run by solar panels with a battery backup. Due to the fact that the surface area available for solar panels is limited the cooling module needs to be quite small and...
  12. J

    Creating a Prototype: Formula & Knowledge for Determining Scale

    Hi, I am in the midst of creating a prototype. It is a true model. May I know what are the formulas and knowledge i require to determining the exact scale of my prototype? My model needs to include a working water pump, as well as able to withstand loading.
  13. M

    Where can i get a mechanical engineer for prototype

    I need a prototype built. The main design I have sorted out but need the engineer to tweak it here and there. I've tried googling it and the results are top companies which are very expensive, is there anywhere I could find an individual who can do this work for me? Or would any of yiu guys...
  14. J

    Guidance needed in prototype development

    Hello. First off I would like to apologize if my questions are common sense, I have done my own research with some progress but with some stopping points that I hope to get pushed in the right direction here. I am trying to build a system that is similar to a bike with a free wheel so it can...
  15. A

    Calculation, design and prototype wheel hub drive

    Hello All ! Above is the title of the topic and am looking for inputs. Right now I am working on this as my thesis. And I am looking for some one how have already worked in the similar field for a better guidance for me. Thank you in advance. Regards,
  16. U

    Creating a monstrous e-cigarette prototype

    Hey guys, i am here to try pick some brains. I am en electronic engineer who is currently playing with some projects at home. I am creating a monstrous e-cigarette prototype. I am not using the conventional nichrome wire and wick method, but rather just dropping it onto a hot plate for...
  17. 9

    Fully Aquatic Engine prototype problem

    I want to know how you can turn down the amps and crank up the volts from any car battery. This is what I am going to use to slit Hydrogen and oxygen from water. (H2O) Also converting the O1 into O2. I believe a system that uses around 300w can produce the most hydrogen. Correct me if I am...
  18. J

    What is the most cost-effective material for prototyping a drone airframe?

    I am designing a drone airframe, what is the best, simplest and cheapest material to make a prototype? Is Polyurethane foam a good option for the body?
  19. D

    MHB Understanding the First Order Prototype Solution in Time Domain

    Consider the first order prototype, \[ \frac{dy(t)}{dt} + \frac{1}{\tau}y(t) = f(t),\] driven by a step function, \[ f(t) =...
  20. M

    Invention prototype - help please with bent half tube

    Invention prototype -- help please with bent half tube... Hi all, I am in the prototype phase of an invention and I need part that I can't get made and was looking for a few ideas. As you can see the part is double-curved 16 gauge sheet metal. I brought it to a sheet metal shop and the guy...
  21. W

    Development of a contactor, prototype manufacturing

    I am designing a contactor for both DC and AC mainly for polarity independent circuit-breaker. It has a contactor unit, actuating solenoid, arc chute, Electromagnetic arc blow out coil Auxiliary contacts and base plate. Basically i got stuck in the Time constant measurement, ie the Bracking and...
  22. C

    Help with prototype, hooking up sensors and a pump to a circuit?

    Hello, I'm working on an invention in which I'm trying to build a prototype for. I have very little physics background and nothing in computers which is why I've sought help here. The project seems very basic, but I have no idea where to start. I need help hooking up two hygrometers...
  23. J

    Renewable Energy Prototype

    i am having problem on making my thesis about renewable energy. I proposed all of the common kinds of renewable energy there is from solar,wind,thermal to biomass but still got nothing approved. Could anyone here please suggest topics for my thesis.. i am really short of time. :frown:. really...
  24. K

    Measuring Impact Velocity with a Ballistic Pendulum Prototype

    some device or contraption to measure point impact velocity - ballistic pendulum ? i hope you guys and gals can point me in the right direction for a prototype i am working on. I am looking for a device that measures impact velocity. much like a ballistic pendulum only much sturdier than the...
  25. Y

    Self balancing bicycle prototype using flywheel(reaction wheel)

    Hello everybody, Well I'm a level 4 mechatronics students from Mauritius and doing my project on a self balanced bicycle which uses a flywheel to achieve this.A better view of it can be seen on: OR EVEN ON: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0312BNqIBFI&feature=related...
  26. H

    Building a Maglev Train Prototype

    1. Hi, I am currently doing a project which the main objective is to build an miniature Maglev Train Prototype and compare its performance with a Conventional Train. 2. I am having a big problem in the propulsion system of the Meglev Train which is the long stator linear synchronous...
  27. D

    Mass x Velocity prototype problem

    Independent non-engineer inventor is looking to determine parameters for prototype. Compressing a piston using rolling weights. Need to know if a weight (wheel) is doubled in mass does that reduce the velocity loss (as a result of rolling over and compressing the piston) by one half...
  28. M

    Creating Stainless Steel Prototype Parts: A Guide to Combining Techniques

    Hi, I have a question: I would like to describe how can i use a combination of techniques (numerical control machines excluded ) to produce a batch of a prototype part (approx 45 pieces) using stainless steel as my material and vacuum cast as the manufacturing process. Any ideas ? Thanks
  29. K

    15 x 30-inch motor prototype is expected to produce 600 HP and 5,000 VAC

    TWM's 15 x 30-inch motor prototype is expected to produce 600 HP and 5,000 VAC -- enough to power a pickup truck. Is this claim really possible? I am not an electrical engineer. Please check the patent attached(link) here. US20080143206 http://ip.com/patapp/US20080143206.
  30. K

    Reference letters: writing the prototype oneself

    Hello Physicsforums, I've been reading here for a while and like this forum a lot. For the following issue I couldn't find a suitable thread so I decided to register and ask my first question: I'm about to apply for grad school, for which I need academic references. I talked to the two...
  31. H

    Solving NVH Problem in Prototype Van: Analysis & Results

    please help me to solve this problem Figure shows noise results for a prototype van measured on a rolling road. the vehicle had a four cylinder in line engine. the engine speed was varied in 3rd gear from just above stall to about 4500 rpm. the sound pressure at the representative interior...
  32. maverick_starstrider

    Prototype This: Engineering the Impossible

    Hey, has anyone else seen this show prototype this? I'm captivated. It makes me wish, so badly, that I knew more about engineering. It's like mythbusters if they all have PhD's in different disciplines of engineering and the stuff they build (given only 2 weeks no less) is truly amazing...
  33. F

    Creating a Function Prototype in C++ to Calculate a Value Using f(x)

    I am a beginner trying to enter a function prototype into C++. This is what I have entered...where am I going wrong? double f(double x) { return 5*pow(x,3)-3*pow(x,2)+2*x+1; } I would like to be able to enter something like f(2.4) later in the code, and have it calculate the value using...
  34. D

    How to create small prototype of Vertical Wind Tunnel?

    Hello experts! I'm from one of the university in Asia and I'm planning to create a small prototype of Vertical Wind Tunnel for education purpose for my university. I don't know from where I should start the project. This small prototype will not bigger than 10-15 inches for the diameter and I'm...
  35. C

    Multitouch IRGlove Prototype a Success. Help Needed

    I posted this over at NUIGroup.com but I think people here could help as well. The whole multitouch project depends on a program Touchlib (google) which is based on Intel's Open Source Computer Vision Library. I don't know if this is the appropriate section, if not admins please move this post...
  36. B

    Ruthenium Battery Prototype: A Breakthrough or a Secret?

    Ruthenium and its ability to absorb hydrogen somehow was made into a battery prototype by some researchers at the University of Tokyo. It was demonstrated to hold a charge better than lithium ion batteries with nearly 96% retention of the incoming charge over a period they claimed reached...
  37. Q

    Kilo prototype mysteriously loses weight

  38. ZapperZ

    Kilo prototype mysteriously loses weight

    The http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070912/ap_on_re_eu/shrinking_kilogram, but about 50 micrograms! Look out everyone. We are all heavier! So much for me trying to lose weight! Zz.
  39. I

    Find a Reputable Engineering Firm to Build Lab Prototype

    hi im a biologist not working at present]who has an idea for a lab system.Im not sure how to find a reputable engineering firm to build a prototype..The physics end of things involves laminar air flow and current and air pressure analysis. Pls advise Thank you so much
  40. A

    Design a Baby Pram Car Seat | Prototype Design

    i need a prototype design tat can carry a baby pram safely and park it inside a car. In other words the back 3 seats of the car now reduced to 2 The baby pram is now occuping the 3rd seat. Can some give me a step by step design with dimensions and everythin included as soon as possible. Thank...
  41. O

    Piezoelectric Materials Prototype

    Hello. I am currently working on a project to build a prototype concerning the topic of energy. My group has brought up the idea of developing a floor system made of piezoelectric materials with sensors to generate electricity for houses. I have been searching earnestly to find information...
  42. A

    Constructing a NiTi Flower Prototype

    If anyone is familiar with NiTi metal, also known as Nitinol and muscle wire, I am trying to see if I can use it to create a complex shape, more specifically, I want to make a flower shape out of it. With a stem and petals, all made out of the metal. This is a part of a much larger project but...
  43. EnumaElish

    Does Your Cat Fear the Vacuum Cleaner?

    Or is Ms. Mimi especially sensitive to its appearance and sound?
  44. Gokul43201

    Testing Your Shock Absorber Prototype: Min Drops to Determine Breaking Height

    You are designing a type of shock absorber that protects delicate objects from jolts during transportation. To test your prototypes, to decided to find the maximum height from which a crytal vase wrapped in your absorber can be safely dropped. You get a step ladder with 40 steps and decide to...
  45. N

    The Terrestrial Prototype For The Face On Mars

    The Terrestrial Prototype For "The Face On Mars" http://mactonnies.com/imperative25.html Could it be??
  46. D

    Creating a Working Prototype of Armor to Move with You

    Would it be feasible to have a working prototype of a piece of armor so that when you move it mechanically moves with you in the near future? It seems relatively simple to me, just have the armor move the way you push the pressure sensors. I am certain I am missing something here. I guess my...