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MODELS AND PROTOTYPES - EXAMINATION QUESTION

V. Ryan 2011

 

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Companies manufacturing products spend large amounts of money designing and developing their ideas. It makes sense for them to build models / prototypes of a product, before it goes into production. It saves money as faults and improvements can be identified and corrected, before expensive manufacturing on a production line begins.
Models and prototypes are important when discussing a new product with potential customers / clients and focus groups.
   
Large companies such as BMW still make full size clay models, made to look realistic. This helps them to design and develop top class cars.

A full size clay model of a BMW car.
Manufactured to help the designers further develop the car
   
 
 
Explain why modelling and prototyping is important, during the development of a product and the development of ideas/designs. The key words / phrases below, may help you answer this question.
 
TESTING - IDENTIFICATION OF FAULTS  - DESIGN IMPROVEMENTS IDENTIFIED - CUSTOMER / CLIENT DISCUSSIONS - SAFETY ISSUES - ASSESSING MATERIALS - EVALUATE FUNCTIONALITY - ASSESSING AESTHETICS - USED WITH FOCUS GROUP SAVES MONEY
 
SAMPLE ANSWER:
 
Model making is an essential part of designing and developing a product. Models can be computer generated or manufactured by hand, to a scale. Models help determine whether an idea is going to work or needs modifying. A model allows early testing of a product, quickly and cheaply.

Simple models made early in the design of a product, can be used to ask potential customers which one they like best. Clients, potential customers and focus groups, can be asked for their views, when looking at a model and improvements made to the design.

Testing models is an excellent way of identifying problems and faults. Safety issues can often be identified and resolved at this stage of model making. Models are often tested to destruction, to ensure that the final product can withstand everyday use.

It makes economic sense, for a company to build models / prototypes of a product, before it goes into production. It saves money as faults and improvements can be identified and corrected, before expensive manufacturing on a production line begins. Compensating customers for faulty goods or recalling  faulty products, is extremely expensive and will damage the good name and reputation of a company for years.
 
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