At MAKO, we have the experience and expertise to provide true end-to-end product development services. From sketching to CAD design to engineering to manufacturing, our team is here to bring your vision to life. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years. And with offices from coast-to-coast in Austin, Miami, San Francisco, and Toronto, we’re ready to serve you, wherever you are. High-quality, market-ready products are what we do. And we do it at a world-class level.
Have a product idea?
What are Product Development Services?
Product development is the entire end-to-end process of planning, researching, strategizing, sketching, designing, prototyping and manufacturing to transform a conceptual idea into a fully-functional, market-ready product. It incorporates all of our services such as industrial design services and mechanical engineering services, especially early on in the product development cycle. We also offer specialized services such as electrical product development for projects that require electrical components such as printed circuit boards (PCB).
How Product Development Services Work: Our Process
Every great idea that hasn’t been conceptualized yet starts with our product design services. And at MAKO, we start with you and your vision. In this highly collaborative process, your vision drives every aspect of the entire end-to-end process. Using this information, we’ll sketch out your idea on paper; it’s the important first step that we take to help inventors conceptualize their idea. From there we’ll develop and design for manufacturing (DFM) a 3D model of the invention called a computer-aided design (CAD). Within the CAD file holds key information about the functionality, aesthetics, and manufacturability that define the product inside and out. Using the completed CAD file, we then build physical prototypes of the product to measure and learn how and where we can optimize the final design. The last step of the product development cycle is then to manufacture your product and ready it to hit the shelves!
1. RESEARCH & STRATEGIZE
MARKET RESEARCH / PRODUCT GUIDELINES / NDA
At MAKO, we take intellectual property protection extremely seriously. Thus, the first thing all parties do is sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) whether they work with us or not parties to keep all invention information confidential. For those who decide to come on board, we then discuss business objectives, timeline, product requirements, monetization plans, the market, and provide research and recommendations on optimal technologies and components for your product. From all of this, a Product Design Document is put together so we can keep accurate track of all design specifications throughout the course of this project.
IDEATE / CONCEPTUALIZE / EVALUATE / CONSOLIDATE
An iterative and creative design process with the objective of visually communicating each of the inventor’s product features inside their overall visual design of the product as a whole. Together with our design and engineering teams, you and MAKO will evaluate these individual parts and the overall design theme to ensure the user experience, functionality, and aesthetics are aligned with your product vision and business objectives. Our designers, engineering team, and the inventor will then make any final edits or adjustments before going into the next CAD design phase
CAD / RENDERINGS
Based on the sketches and Product Design Document, we’ll begin to design a state-of-the-art 3D CAD of the invention to highlight aesthetics and functionality. And from the very beginning, we take DFM into consideration to help ensure your production run goes as smooth as possible. As a world-class firm, we only build the CAD with full manufacturing-grade top-of-the-line software products such as Solidworks Premier or Fusion360. This requires more technical expertise; however, it makes the design and engineering process far smoother, and far easier to jump into product manufacturing (and creates far more product value in the design along the way).
ASSESS / OPTIMIZE / SIMULATE
Here is where our clients truly understand the value and versatility of a well-designed CAD. With the CAD, clients, designers, and engineers alike can learn about how well the product functions, how much it weighs, and other key aspects of the invention well before it’s even manufactured as we run the CAD through various simulations. Mechanical engineers specifically will learn how to optimize some of the physical elements such as stress, weight, durability, and performance. While electrical engineers will design and develop systems with printed circuit boards (PCB), sensors, Wi-Fi, and other electrical components. Together, the designers, and engineers work together to take into account every part of the invention and optimize the CAD exactly as you envisioned.
BUILD / MEASURE / LEARN
The purpose of the CAD is to confirm that the product design is feasible and functional from a virtual perspective. The product prototyping phase gives you the opportunity to hold and use a tangible product to learn how the product looks and functions in the real world. Prototyping also gives you the opportunity to refine and perfect the final design to minimize costs and risks before going to full production. Whether it’s iterative, parallel, rapid prototyping, or our very own Smart MVP process, our prototype development services are designed to help ensure you’re ready for user testing, investment pitches, crowdfunding, and everything in between.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION / SECURITY
We have preferred connections and pricing with a network of patent attorneys to help our clients with all things related to IP (Intellectual Property) protection. Our clients get quality patenting work, affordably through our network of US and Canadian patent attorneys.
7. MANUFACTURE & SELL
PRODUCTION / LICENSE / FUNDRAISE / SELL
Whether you’re looking to sell, license, or attract investors, all roads lead to manufacturing. The truth is there is no shortcut to success when it comes to hardware products. Inventors who want to license their product need to at least have a CAD that’s fully ready for manufacturing. Inventors searching for B2B clients need to prove that they can have on-hand or can quickly and reliable manufacture and ship units. Inventors looking to fundraise to scale their business need to minimize risk for investors by proving their product already has some traction in the market. And when you’re ready to go public, we’ll even help sell and market your product too.
How MAKO’s Product Development Support Services
Can Build Your Business
A TRUE END-TO-END EXPERIENCE
This is a collaboration in every sense of the word. We believe every project, big or small, deserves the backing of passionate designers and relentless problem solvers to transform it into a product that truly reflects your vision. Because when you come to MAKO, we understand that you’re putting your trust and faith in our team – and we take that responsibility seriously At every step of the product development process, we will match your timeline, help ensure you stay within your budget, and make the product you’ve always dreamed of making.
DRIVEN TO HELP YOU SUCCEED
A well-engineered and beautifully manufactured product is really just the baseline for us. With your vision guiding our team. we explore every possible opportunity to help you disrupt the existing market. Whether it’s upcoming product trends, experimental technologies, or predicted pricing fluctuations due to supply chain issues, chances are, you’ll hear about the future of product development first before anyone else. And we’ll provide you with tips for product development success and help you navigate the challenging landscape of the hardware product industry. Because in the end, your success is our success.
AWARD-WINNING PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
We take great pride in having a development library of over 1,000 products. Each one is meticulously designed by our team of in-house designers and engineers. A team that’s made up of some of the best minds from Fortune 500 product development services companies including Dell, Nike, Bose, and Boeing. A team that’s proven time and time again that home inventors can with the very best in the world. Over the years, we’ve helped clients win the world’s most renowned product awards including the Red Dot, Chicago Good Design, and dozens more.
Product Design and Development Services
Tailored to Your Needs
MAKO Design has spent over 20 years creating, testing, refining, and perfecting the product development process required to create global caliber products, specifically for startups, small manufacturers, home inventors, & eCommerce brands. Through our intense focus specifically on product development services for small businesses, we ensure perfect alignment with your product vision and help you succeed in every way. Our product development services are tailored to designing your product to a modern and top-tier caliber while also being able to execute quickly and efficiently, all at small business budgets. We created this product development niche back in 1999, and we’re still leading it today focusing on that same business model over 20 years later.
FOR HARDWARE STARTUPS
Whether you’re an early-stage startup or getting ready to scale, we’re here to transform your idea into a product design to help you disrupt the existing market, along with the many product market connections you’ll need along the way. MAKO is your one-stop-shop for it all, in addition to connecting our clients with some of the industry’s leading players in the hardware startup space.
FOR SMALL MANUFACTURERS
We are the original product design services firm tailored to small product businesses, so why not work with the best for your next big product? Whether designing something completely new, revitalizing your existing products, or improving something that already exists, MAKO provides world-class design at small business pricing and timelines.
FOR ALL HOME INVENTORS
No ask is too big, no detail is too small. We’re here to collaboratively design your product for success. As a new inventor, MAKO has the most comprehensive set of support services, industry connections, and guidance to help your product be a huge success. We guide you through the entire process, then set you up with direct connections to some of the best product sales brands on earth.
What’s Next after Product Development is Done?
This is where every inventor wants to be. With a manufactured product in hand, you’re much more equipped to sell, license, or attract investors, than you would with just a design. Below are in-depth explanations of these three options:
SELL YOUR PRODUCT
With a fully manufactured product, you’re ready to start pitching your product to customers or resellers such as retailers or wholesalers. Those who are interested in selling directly to customers have more tools than ever to pre-sell through crowdfunding or easily set up an online store or even a custom website that will help you set yourself apart from your competitors. Others may take the B2B route and pitch their product to big-box retailers and get their product onto store shelves. Whatever your decision, MAKO has the connections to launch, market, and get your products in people’s hands.
LICENSE YOUR PRODUCT
TO A BRAND
Some inventors just want to get their product designed to a point where they can then license their invention idea to an existing product brand. Either way you go, completing world-class product design is a critical first step. If looking to license directly after design, MAKO would then set you up with a patent attorney so you can protect your IP before pitching your idea to licensors. Keep in mind that the further you develop your product, the higher the probability of licensing, so you may want to have MAKO engineer and/or prototype your design before you start pitching to get a licensing deal.
TO SCALE AND EXPAND
A good problem to have is when demand exceeds supply. Maybe you have the capacity to expand your business by hiring people, upgrading your website, or purchasing management software. The one thing these things have in common is that you need capital to grow your business. One route many inventors take is to raise money from investors to help them scale. And by having a fully manufactured product, you’ll be able to attract better investors and have to share less equity while raising more money than you could with just a virtual design. And if you really want to impress investors, prove that your product has traction in the market.
The End-to-End Product Development Process
1. PRODUCT DESIGN
This includes industrial design services. This is the first and most important step in the product development cycle. This is the foundation of all product development to come, so is critically important to have it done right.
Mechanical engineering and electrical engineering (for those products with electronics) are the detailed work on the CAD to ensure that all components of the product design work cohesively, reliably, and predictably.
Before the product reaches the market, it’s important to test the form and functionality with a prototype. Prototypes are also a great way to generate traction for marketing, pre-sales, crowdfunding, and financing initiatives.
We have preferred connections and pricing with a network of patent attorneys to help our clients with all things related to IP (Intellectual Property) protection. Our clients get quality patent referrals, affordably through our network of US and Canadian patent attorneys.
Once the prototyping and engineering are complete, tested, and refined, the product is ready to move to production. This may happen after preselling through crowdfunding, or before selling if you choose to sell direct to buyers once you have inventory in stock.
MAKO Design has many connections to help our clients launch and sell products. There are three main options: Pre-selling through crowdfunding, bulk order sales directly to wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and/or direct to the end-customer.
Product Development Services: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about MAKO’s product development services. Don’t see an answer to your question here? Feel free to contact us anytime with your inquiries, read our blog for hundreds of articles related to product design and development, learn about the entire end-to-end process with MAKO’s free invention kit, or check out the industry’s largest podcast: The Product Startup Podcast.
Every project is different and the costs will depend on the services required to create your product. Together, we’ll plan the best course of action and provide a quote based on your specific needs and objectives. It could be a few thousand dollars up to tens of thousands, it all depends entirely on both the complexity of the project and how much experimentation is required. A project that is relatively easy to design, and uses a combination of pre-existing technologies is going to be far easier than designing a new hoverboard!
1. Research and strategizing: To learn about your vision and objectives
2. Sketching: To conceptualize the idea.
3. Designing the CAD: To design the idea in a 3D space.
4. Engineering and DFM: To help ensure optimal functionality and is designed for manufacturability.
5. Prototyping: To measure customer feedback, discover improvement opportunities and mitigate operational or manufacturing risks,
6. Manufacturing: Finalize the CAD, coordinate logistics, and produce the final units of the product.
7. Selling: Utilize MAKO’s connections to pre-sell through crowdfunding, sell direct to customers, retailers, wholesalers, or distributors, or connect you with the right investors to scale your business
Yes! Watch this video about product development during COVID-19 to learn how you can bring your idea to life, even during the pandemic.
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