Today’s multi-tools can do almost anything – Ron, the founder of WAGIC, a consumer product company in California, with his team, brainstormed the ideal multi-tool. What they discovered, is that the ideal multi-tool for the kitchen and bathroom isn’t the same as the ideal tool for paint and prep jobs.
Finding ways to make the multi-tool within the constraints of modern machine tools took 3 or 4 iterations on a 3D printer. But when they were done, the prototype was almost the real thing. They painted it, applied decals and took it on some sales calls. Leaving nothing to chance, the WAGIC team even prepared prototype packaging.
Their first order was for 700,000 units, all before they had even purchased the tooling or sourced the manufacturing. That’s the power of a great prototype. It lets the buyer understand exactly what they will be getting.
From that point, the team switched into the tooling cycle, quality reviews, a pilot run and then they were ready for production. That’s the slowest part of the process, but because they were able to quickly and easily share changes to improve the manufacturability further, they finished the entire process in about 8 months, including shipping of the first order.