Research and Development
A prototype is generally used to evaluate a new design to test its viability. Many times, a company has a project that they want to take on and they dive right into it without validating some of the uncertainties and mitigating risk. There is a lot of value in completing a simple prototype project to prove the concept and figure out how certain aspects will work before starting a large project that depends on the success of an untested assumption.
Quick Turnaround Proof of Concept
One of our prototyping projects was designed to make use of one of the greatest benefits of LabVIEW for a final project that was going to be deployed to a microcontroller. LabVIEW and NI hardware are good prototyping tools because they simplify I/O. As part of a CPAP and Ventilator, we tested flow and pressure control systems. With the system quickly prototyped, the effort to optimize and deploy to the microcontroller can be done with confidence the system will work. Proving these capabilities would have taken much longer if the prototyping took place on the microcontroller.
Prototyping with Simulation
Devices that will be used in medical or other environmental conditions must be tested before they are sold and used in the real world. Before investing in full-blown product development and then testing the product before it can be sold, you can create simulation testing for prototypes and proof of concept designs. The incremental simulation testing will save a lot of money and headache down the road.