Prototyping may be simultaneously one of the most important and least formally explored areas of design. Over the last few decades, designers and researchers have developed many methodologies for ideation, product architecture, design selection, and many other aspects of the design process. However, there have been relatively few methodologies published regarding the efficient and effective development of prototypes for new products. This research explores a methodology for enhancing the prototyping process. It is founded on extensive literature review of the best practices of engineering prototype development. These findings have been aggregated and form the foundation of a methodology for formulating prototyping strategies. This methodology has then been experimentally evaluated in a controlled design environment, and its effect on the performance of prototypes has been demonstrated. The method consists of a set of guiding questions with corresponding flowcharts and foundational equations that assist the designer to make choices about how to approach the prototyping process in an efficient and effective manner.

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