The startup hype in Germany continues. Commercialisation of the Internet in recent years through the Internet of Things has led to the development of many new business models with small electrical appliances. So-called IoT devices are easily and permanently connected to the Internet through uplink and W-LAN. Wherever Internet access is available, IoT devices can be used, from the autonomous webcam, home control centre for household and energy monitoring to smart assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s HomePod. All these devices contain electronic components that were packed into a individual housing prototype at the beginning of their lifetime.
Why is a housing prototype required?
The typical story of a housing prototype is a start-up that has created an electronic product. During the next stage, investors are often needed to get the product ready for series production, and launch it. The developer cannot just present an investor with a circuit board, as it shows that the product is unfinished and not packaged ready for the market. Therefore the device requires an attractive, professional plastic housing. Often at this stage the developer cannot foresee whether the product will eventually go into large-scale production, whether it will remain in small pre-series or even just the one prototype. The first thought when considering a housing is one made of injection molding. However, this type of housing construction is expensive. For tool construction alone, i.e. merely the creation of the production molds, costs are high and can quickly escalate into 5-figure Euros sums.
Production of a plastic prototype with K-Box® technology
With its patented K-Box® technology, mentec’s® aim is to manufacture individual housings of the highest quality and workmanship from prototype to series production at a reasonable price. The plastic housing prototype must be of high quality to convince a potential investor or end customer of the value of the device.
The production of the housing prototype paves the way for small or medium series of the product. mentec® saves all details of the production process electronically, making it simple to reproduce the housing any number of times. There is another advantage of prototype production with K-Box® technology: in contrast to injection molding based housing production, subsequent modifications such as the addition of ventilation slots to series-produced housings can be made easily, so the original investment for the design of the prototype is not lost.
What data do we need for a individual housing prototype?
For mentec® to produce a housing prototype for you, you will need to provide us with important relevant information. The following is the list of details needed from you in order for mentec® to prepare a quotation:
- For which application is the desired housing required (indoor/outdoor, UV resistance, water resistance)?
- Current customer drawings: do you have sketches and drawings relating to the desired housing? We process electronic files such as 3D construction formats (STEP or CAD data). Sketches or pictures are also possible.
- Housing samples: are housing samples or built-in components already available?
- PCB samples / built-in parts: in order to plan the inner part of the housing, original PCB samples and/or built-in parts are very helpful in the construction of the housing prototype, ideally as a 3D file.
- Weight: the sum of the weights of all built-in components plays an important role before the start of the construction.
- Dimensions: please specify width x height x depth in mm
- Material: we have a wide range of base materials at our disposal – whether impact-resistant polycarbonate (PC) or polystyrene (PS), also in UL94-V0 class./li>
- Colour: what colour should your housing be? Standard RAL colours as well as different special colours are available.
- Additional parts & special parts
- Printing (screen printing / digital printing) & varnishing
We will be happy to advise you on your requirements for a housing prototype – just contact us.