Congrats, you’ve summoned the courage to move your idea forward. You should be proud of yourself because you separated from the pack, and have taken the first important step to move yourself out of being stuck in the “just an idea” phase. As you consider your next steps, there are basic steps with a proven track record you should consider:
Conception – This stage is when you think of where the invention would be used. What problem would it solve? Does it have a practical application? Inventions are usually made to address otherwise unaddressed issues, or to improve previously invented mechanisms, systems, or other equipment which may be enhanced by your invention.
Drafting and planning – Good old pen and paper drawings are great for turning your thoughts into something more tangible, or when you would like to present your ideas to others, or just to have a solid piece of reference of what you have in mind. This is the first tangible result of your idea—a stepping stone into making it a reality.
Modeling – Once you have your drawings and visual representation, you can begin finding suitable materials and proceed with the modeling. This may be one of the more tedious steps on how to develop a prototype but is essential when it comes to realizing the concepts you have. You can first try it on a smaller scale before proceeding with a prototype which is for presentation and testing purposes.
Building a prototype – Once you’ve gotten the hang of creating your invention, you can build a full-scale prototype which you can use for presentation and further testing. Finding out the flaws of your first model and improving it on your prototype for presentation and testing will make the prototype more efficient for gathering the data you need.
Testing – After finishing your prototype, you can subject it to tests which would measure how effective your invention is. You can gather information on durability, endurance, efficiency, and other information on the workings of your prototype.
Improving your prototype – Your prototype may look crude or perhaps far from polished. You can improve it and make it more presentable in order to make it a more desirable piece. You can also improve on its mechanical aspects after you have reviewed your notes from the testing phase.