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Help For Newcomers

Ideas for developing a prototype

One of the biggest obstacles inventors face is making a prototype or model. Inventors who have to rely on others to make their product often spend thousands trying to get a model built. If you can't afford an expensive prototype, check out Jack Lander's Web site, www.inventorhelp.com. Lander, a columnist for Inventors Digest magazine, sells reports on the site, including How to Cast Your Own Plastic Parts at Room Temperature, Without Expensive Equipment and How to Make Drawings for Purchasing Prototypes.

Your local inventor organization may be able to refer you to prototype shops that work for a share of the products or at a low hourly rate. You can find inventor groups in your area at www.uiausa.org, the Web site of the United Inventors Association of the U.S.A. This site is great for first-time inventors-it includes the steps a novice should take and a comprehensive FAQ section.



Don Debelak is a new-business marketing consultant and the author of Bringing Your Product to Market(John Wiley & Sons). Send him your invention questions at dondebelak@uswest.net.

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This article was originally published in the September 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Help For Newcomers.

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