This list of FAQ’s has been produced to assist you with understanding how 4D Products, a Product Design and Development company may assist you with developing your product ideas.
What services do 4D Products offer?
We offer a comprehensive Product Design Innovation and Development service from initial idea, right through to manufacturing support, details of which are on our website. If you have a specific requirement please get in touch to arrange an initial discussion so we can understand your requirements and demonstrate our capabilities. 4D Products specialise in the design of physical products. If your development requires electronics, software, app design, or protection of intellectual property, we have partners we work with to provide the full solution.
What kind of products do you design?
We design a wide variety of products from consumer items to medical, laboratory, industrial, and sports related products. Examples of a few of our previous project sucesses are detailed on the case study section of this website.
How does the development process work?
First we need to fully understand your idea and your commercial goals. From there we are best placed to advise you on a realistic and achievable process that will give you the results you need.
Do you work with start-up businesses and individuals with an idea?
Yes we work with a wide variety of clients from private individuals to large corporations.
Is my idea worth developing?
Many private inventors base their assessment of a good idea as whether it has been done before, or whether a product like that currently exists. However most successful businesses create new and improved products for existing markets, things that people are already familiar with and want or need.
If you have invented something that no noe has ever heard of before, it may take a great deal of marketing to persuade potential customers that they need it.
If you have invented a new, better, or cheaper way of solving a problem that many people or businesses have, that will get people interested.
Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement?
Certainly, our business is built on trust and respect for our clients.
Do you have a non-disclosure agreement we can use?
Yes feel free to request one via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your full name and business name (if you have one).
Do I need to have money in place for the full project from day 1?
Most new product development projects are approached in stages, where the product is assessed at key stages to see if it will meet customers and investors expectations. As such you do not need to have funding in place for the whole project from day 1. We have often been asked to create conceptual design of a new product as a stand alone exercise. These concepts are then used to get the attention of investors, who can add funds to the project to take it to the next stage, perhaps an initial prototype. In this way, the project develops over time and the necessary finances can be sought in stages. This is very typical of the approach for start up company’s or private inventors.
How much will it cost to design my product?
We can help you understand this aspect once we fully understand your requirements. However we are a professional services business and typically our fees for the design of a simple product will be in the thousands of pounds. Additional costs such as prototyping, testing and manufacture will increase this figure. Product Development is a medium to longer term investment, however we pride ourselves on being agile and flexible regards delivering solutions tailored to our clients budget.
How much does a prototype cost?
This is dependent on the definition of prototype and the exact requirements the prototype has to meet. We can help with initial physical models to test principles or much more complex pre-manufacture functional and aesthetic prototypes, whichever suits your needs best. When implementing a prototype strategy we work with out clients to ensure the maximium benefit is realised through prototyping. Typically prototypes cost at least several hundreds of pounds for a basic model, but they add way more in value to the development process. The reality is we cannot give an exact cost to produce a prototype until we have the 3D design data in place.
I need a fully costed plan from idea to manufactured product, can you help?
Yes, we can provide this following an initial briefing.
I need some design visuals to help me pitch to investors, can you help?
Yes we have a proven track record in supporting business pitches. Contact us today to discuss our conceptual design services.
Do I need to patent my idea before designing it?
Not always, in fact it may be preferable to protect your idea after it has been designed. A professional designer will help you to to optimise your idea for the real world, they may suggest better ways of doing things than you had originally envisaged. We would advise you to work with a designer under a confidentiality agreement, then protect the best ideas available after an initial body of design work has been completed.
What will happen at my initial consultation?
We would like to fully understand your new product idea, and discuss how we can help you make it a reality. We are happy to give you an honest opinion and some budget costs.
It is really useful for the product design team to be given a design brief or specification, a document which clearly lays out the basics of what you are trying to acheive. For instance it would outline details such as; An overview of the product idea, what is its purpose? What problem / issue / need does it solve? Who will this be marketed to? What would the sale cost be? What is the current competition in this market? What are the technical challenges to be solved? What services do you require from 4D Products? Do you have a development budget in place? What are your timescales for any particular milestones?
What reassurances can you give a potential client
We operate within a strictly confidential environment to protect our clients interests. We itemise all the tasks and stages within a development project and individually cost each stage for your peace of mind prior to commencement. We allow adequate time for prototyping and testing to ensure the solution we provide for you meets your requirements. We work to a detailed design specification so we can all track progress and success.
How can I protect my idea?
There are a variety of ways to protect your ideas, depending on the nature of your new product. We can advise you on the best approach when we know more about your product.
Options to consider include;
- Not telling anyone about your idea unless they have signed a non disclusure agreement
- Design registration
- Trademarking of logos / branding
The UK patent office website is a good source of information for UK based businesses.
Do 4D Products work on joint venture projects?
Yes subject to review of the individual proposal. Our model does not include working for no fee up front however. We work on a reduced design fee in exchange for a stake in future revenue, again assessed on an individual basis.
I dont see examples of similar products to ours on your website are you capable?
At 4D Products we have many years experience and a dedicated, talented team of professional designers with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and skills. We have the tools and creativity to produce commercially viable solutions to almost any product development challenge. Speak to us initially, you maybe surprised.
Where are your clients based, I’m not near your studio
We have enjoyed long standing relationships with clients all over the UK and beyond. Whilst it is always great to meet up in person, and you are welcome to visit our studio, we are also happy to visit you or commincate via telephone, email and video conference.
How can I be sure you will deliver what I need?
We pride ourselves in understanding what you need, and we dont take on projects we arent confident of delivering. During any project we maintain an ongoing dialogue and review process with the customer, allowing opportunity for client input and feedback. Prior to engaging with 4D, you are free to talk to us for as long as is necessary to gain confidence and trust in our approach, experience, and ultimately us.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss your requirements in detail please contact 4D Products at email@example.com Please give some thought to your design brief first, as this will form the basis of our initial discussions. See the section 'what will happen at my initial consultation?' above.