The Invention Process..............
1- have an idea,
2- draw it out on a napkin,
3- umm ummm ummmmm?
There are many directions to go.
You could try and sell the idea. getting someone to invest in an idea is probably the most difficult route.
If you "can" sell someone your idea, its only that, an idea, not researched, not tried, not worth much. This is where a lot of the “Inventer help companies "online come in. There are many out there that will see your idea for the genius that it is and give you a couple of bucks for it at this stage.
If you see past that then the next step is to actually prove the idea, this means building a prototype. With a working prototype in their hands, any Invester's can see and feel the future, it’s a lot more powerful than them just thinking about your idea!
This is another area where the "inventor help companies" like to make a living. Facilitating you getting a prototype by being a middle man between you and the different specialty fields required.
You pay them for their expertise in getting things engineered, drawn up and farmed out to the different shops. Then they will add a mark up on each shops invoice that you get to pay.
So now you have a prototype.
Once you have proven your idea you then you look at the manufacture process. Perhaps now is the time to get out and make some money on your idea. With a working prototype, prospective manufacturers may want to buy your idea and produce and market it themselves.
Prospective sellers may want to buy your idea and have someone manufacture it for them.
Maybe you want to manufacture it yourself?
Either way, with a working prototype, you now have something thats worth way more than just your initial idea. It takes the wind out of the inventors help companies sails, You go from hearing "oh
but sir its going to cost you soooo much money to see this through" to " See I told you it could be done" type of thing.
Whichever way you go, at this stage, to take the next step there is typically a large hurdle in the way called CAPITAL. It cost money, lots and lots of money to set up large production. But wait, maybe your idea is more suited to a smaller market that you want to manufacture and market to yourself, perhaps a website or Ebay and a limited production facility (small shop or your basement)is perfect for you. Many have set themselves up to build and sell their idea, depending upon your idea, this may be done for just a few thousand dollars.
Once you have a tangable object, you can start getting peoples attention, these days you can pitch your idea to crowd funding to get some capital to get yourself going. If you try crowdfunding and get nowhere, you probably should not be thinking about taking a second mortgage out on your house, you just were not able to sell your idea. If your on a real winner though, backers will come out of the woodwork to get a slice of your idea pie.
For most people the hardest hurdle is how to actually turn that napkin drawing into an actual product.
There may be many industries that need to be approached, to mention just a few, mechanical, design, engineering to get a concept of how the item might be able to be engineered and manufactured, plastics engineering for cases and parts, electronic engineering for electronic hardware design, software engineering for operating codes, machinists to fabricate the working parts, and the list goes on.
As you can see there are a lot of different people you may need to talk to before you can get any idea of what it may take to actually produce item serial #000001. Unfortunately its not enough to just talk to each specialist separately, to design and build something from scratch, all fields need to talk with each other to understand whats going on and how their part may work with or interfere with each others parts.
If you have a firm idea on exactly what is required for each facet of your prototype then taking a more hands on, "I am going to lead the charge approach" may be the right option for you, remember though that your going to have to waste a lot of your time, and pay for a lot of expensive other peoples time while you explain and describe in exact detail of what you need each individual person to do. If you don’t know each of their specific languages, mistakes will be made! Oh yeah, and of course at your expense. Having any sort of one off prototype constructed is always expensive, tooling may need to be manufactured, jigs and holding hardware made and perhaps software written with its all time consuming de-bugging process. Typically in order to cover their butts, each specialist is going to over estimate its part of the job, it is a known fact that in prototyping, some of the work will need to be re-done as it didn’t quite fit into the process as envisaged. So if you have 10 different fields estimating their individual part of the process and each adding a "just in case" buffer to the estimate, 10 just in cases add up to a whole lot of money, and typically if the job pans out well and goes a bit quicker than planned, and you have already accepted the sticker shock of an estimate with the buffer added. Nope it not likely the jobs final invoice will reflect any less than the origional estimate.
Now if one company is handling all the different fields then they only need to add a just in case buffer to the whole job estimate, not each individual component. Net result you save money, possibly lots of money, no actually it is probably going to be lots and lots of money. It all sound's quite pessimistic doesn’t it, well taking an idea from nothing to mass production of something for sale is no trivial feat, however if you manage to do it, as many have before, it will be life changing.
Thats where we come in.
We specialize in taking a raw idea and turning it into a "one of a kind prototype". Something that is somewhat close to how the production unit will look, feel, work and perform. If you have a firm plan laid out thats great, got some engineering drawings, schematics, source code, that all makes everything easier. Oh and by the way, napkin drawings ARE considered engineering drawings in our line of work!
We can do most basic fields in house, To get started, we both sign a non disclosure, then you give me a call and tell me your dream, the more you convey to me the easier it will be for me to understand your vision. The first 30 minute conversation is free, Its usually plenty of time for the both of us to get a feel for each other. For a lot of ideas, unfortunately thats all they are, just dreams. No sir, perpetual motion defies the basic laws of physics and therefore is not possible at even the most basic level. No sir, I do not think that Home Depot will be stocking gallon cans of your anti gravity paint in a years time. You get the idea,
Our initial discussions can be very helpful FOR YOU. You will get an idea of how simple or difficult (read cheap or expensive) to develop your idea may be. Also you will Get a feel for what type of hurdles your idea may face, and if you are the type of person who wants to build and sell your own product, how practical that may be. We can help set you up with specifically designed machines to build your product.
Being able to do most fields IN HOUSE means that you will not have to pay for each individual fields time to learn about your idea, design their part then liaise with all the other design fields to get it to all fit and work together.
We already know what the minimum size and shape the circuit board is, how big the gear box is that has to fit in the handle of your new product etc. You get the picture.
Anything we can not do in house, we outsource ourselves, therefore again saving you money by being able to give accurate well defined requirements and information to the subcontactor, this information has already taken into account how thier piece of the puzzle will fit in. Often because our subcontractors are only producing a single part of the project, the time (cost) of legal NDA's etc are not needed as the subcontractor is given a specific drawing of the part to be made, they make it, ship it, and have no idea as to what they have made or what its a part of, therefore there is no risk of them ripping off your idea.
Being located in Brisbane we have an abundance of specialists close by.
Being a small company who looks at the whole design and fabrication process, we are better able to asses the best direction to take the product. For example, incorporating already available parts and technology, can often be a smarter method than trying to totally re invent the wheel.
On simple prototypes, an idea of what it may cost to produce is a relatively easy task. Other more complex ideas, especially if there is new technology to produce, test and prove there may be a research phase required .( Complex electronics can have a substantial proving phase.) This phase can be as little as a couple of days, Other things could take a while.
Once we have a firm idea of what it will take to produce your idea, then a formal estimate is given. This forms a basic contract of what you would like us to do and what we are going to produce for you. Please note carefully, this is an "estimate only" based on what we think will be involved to produce a prototype, based on our knowledge and past experiences. Sometimes development goes a lot faster than expected, sometimes you come across glitches that take time to solve. Most projects take between 2 and 5 weeks from start to finish.
While doing the whole design and fabrication process, there are many areas that will save you money by using Napkin to Prototype. For example, once a part has been designed and set up in the CNC mill, we press start and then we go onto another part of the project while the CNC is cutting your part. A single part can take several hours to run. A machine shop is going to charge you CNC hours for all the time the machine is running. We work more on a "whole project" approach and if I am not having to watch over the CNC then your not going to be paying for me too!
Often CAD drawings used to produce one part can be modified quickly to fit another part, for example, CAD drawings of the circuit board can be imported into the CAD drawings of the part that houses the circuit board. Using individual contractors would mean that you are paying for time to have that same drawing produced twice instead of only once with us.
I am a firm believer in using what is already available. For example, Many times a plumbing fitting can be the start point of a machined part, half the machine work is already done by virtue of the starting shape of the plumbing fitting and so very often the fitting costs way less than a piece of raw stock that you then spend a lot of time to machine most of it away.
At each completed stage of the work a progress report is generated. This will detail what work has been done and goals that have been achieved. Photos and any computer files are included.
Weekly emails keep you updated and of course you are also free to call any time to see how things are progressing.
All computer files, schematics, CAD drawings, G codes and computer/processor codes that are produced are your property. Any tools, dies, molds, plugs etc that need to be fabricated to produce your prototype, are your property.
Any questions, queries or need or want for discussion are handled in a professional manner, you are our client and we are working on YOUR idea.
We are happy to have as much or as little input from you throughout the complete process.
If you only want us to do certain parts of your project then thats fine too. Many times people are doing their own prototyping and need help with designing features and /or manufacture of a certain part. We are just as happy to help you solve your own design or fabrication problems as we are to complete the entire project.
We are good at helping the individual take someone else’s product and making changes to have it fit a certain niche they may have. For example you may have a machine that does XYZ. But you want it to do XYZ and A. We can do that, but please note, these changes must be for you, or your companies own use only. We cannot change a third party's equipment, if the intention is to either produce or resell said equipment. That could be infringing on copyrights and patents.
We can reverse engineer many machines in order to reproduce parts that are no longer available.
We can Design and implement new control and motion control systems for your existing machinery.
We have experience in the unforgiving world of underwater robotics. ROV construction, construction of new tools to use on existing ROVs etc. one off specialized robots for those unusual tasks. ROV control hardware and software.