An engineering prototype is an early model of a product, device, instrument, or equipment utilized for a number of vital purposes. An engineering prototype is crafted to test the concept itself. In addition, an engineering prototype tends to be an important element of the patenting process.
Engineering prototypes can end up serving a variety of purposes during the patenting process for what is said to be a new or innovative product, device, instrument, or equipment. For example, an engineering prototype serves an essential, fundamental purpose of establishing that the item for which a patent is sought truly is new and innovative. In the alternative, an engineering prototype can illustrate how and why what is being submitted for patent consideration in fact represents a substantial and innovative change to some product, device, instrument, or equipment that previously existed in some form or another.
There are professionals that specialize in preparing engineering prototypes for the purposes of pursuing a patent application. Indeed, these professionals often work in tandem not only with the inventor who developed the initial concept associated with a product, device, instrument, or equipment, but also with a patent attorney who is involved in the patenting process.
As an aside, one of the benefits of creating an engineering prototype is to identify potential design flaws that are not evident in a paper construct of a new or refashioned item. Eliminating such flaws is vital before the patenting process is pursued too far down the application pathway in regard to a new design.