Must-Have Software for Turning Product Designs Into Prototypes
So, you have an interesting idea for a product and you’re confident that you could probably build it with a bit of research, but you’re not sure how to get started? Fortunately, nowadays almost any tech savvy individual can learn to become an inventor and prototype builder with the right tools and resources at their disposal. In fact, there’s an entire software sector that is dedicated to simplifying and streamlining the process of converting product designs into prototypes. More specifically, here are three kinds of software that will help you the most in your effort to convert your product design into a prototype:
- PCB Design Software
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are common components in consumer electronics products, and there’s a good chance that you might need to incorporate one into your device design. To get an idea of what these tools can do, check out this PCB design software list by Altium. In a nutshell, they completely virtualize and simulate the process of working with real circuit boards and other prototype components. So, in a way they serve as a replacement for the old-school method of working with hardware and building repeated prototypes until you come up with a working version. With this approach, you use software to determine the best design before any hardware is assembled.
- CAD Software
Computer-aided design (CAD) tools exist in a relatively broad field of software because there are CAD utilities for landscape design, architecture, interior design, product conceptualization, and virtually every other form of design. Check out a list of the best CAD software for inventors to get an idea of which tools you should be learning how to use in your spare time. Using this kind of software will come with a learning curve, but one that will reward you with an in-demand and highly beneficial entrepreneurial skill set.
- Project Management Software
Finally, if you’re going beyond the one-person show approach and into managing a team of engineers, designers, or freelancers, it would help to use an online project management software. These interfaces can be used to conveniently share files, set schedules, create goals, conduct correspondence, and conduct a variety of other collaborative actions within a centralized dashboard. This is another software type for which there are plenty of curated lists, so be sure to check out your options in this regard as well.
- You Can Learn How to Use These Tools in a Matter of Weeks
While the idea of mastering a circuit board design software might seem like it’s currently out of your league, there are plenty of online courses that can help you reach an intermediate skill level in a matter of 1-3 months. If you’re actively using these tools on a daily or weekly basis for more than 6 months to a year, you’ll already be considered an advanced user. Considering the benefits that these tools provide, it’s definitely worth a year of study to become familiar with them, especially if you’re trying to invent a new product.