Product Recipe #1 – Part 4
Jill is a graphic designer from Oakland, CA. While riding her bike to work, she was inspired to create a set of custom-made bike gear-themed coasters to sell at local bike shops and in her Etsy Store.
Here Jill takes you step-by-step through the process she used to turn her idea into a profitable product with Ponoko. Making her coasters at the lowest price possible means she pockets a healthy margin selling to stores and direct to customers.
You can apply these steps to your own project, or you can download all the files here.
Laser Cutting Cost Saving Guide Part 4: Make It
And now for the fun stuff…
My Final Design & Material Choice
From the price testing and cardboard prototype earlier, I decided on this final design. And from the three $2.50 material samples I bought earlier, I decided to do my first real test using the cork material:
Download design file for this step.
Make a Few for User Testing
I laid out my winning coaster design onto a template for the smallest P1 material sheet size and ordered:
Yippeee! My Final Product
A few days later I received a very special delivery. I was pretty excited!
Time for User Testing
I tested my coasters with potential customers – biking friends, my friendly bike store owner and his customers. They loved the design and I took pre-orders.
But some wanted a different material. So I repeated the process above to make some in black acrylic …
Final Product Line!
With cork and black acrylic coasters in my new product line, I was ready to sell.
Making tests in the final material choice enables you to trial your actual product with potential customers. This way, you can get a real feel for how people will respond to your design, and also make any last-minute changes in response to genuine feedback before moving ahead with the final production run. It was through this process that Jill discovered a demand for alternate material options, an important marketing opportunity that she otherwise may have missed.
Next up in Part 5 of this Ponoko Product Recipe we look at preparing the product for sale and making sure that the final pricing is right for the coasters to sell at a profit.
How have you tested your production-ready designs before moving on to the final sale item? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.