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Patent Pending... Design in Mind, but what next?

    • 1 posts
    December 14, 2011 7:06 PM EST

    I have a patent pending for my invention; a laptop-like device that's basically a portable monitor with keyboard and touchpad.  It's a simple idea, but I am surprised no one though of it.  It's not the same as the KVM consoles found on server racks.  I don't want to get into details of all the features and nitty gritty to keep this post short.


    I met with someone at a product design house locally.  After showing me some of the products they have designed, I showed them my idea.


    They are scaring me with the cost of tooling and manufacturing!  I understand that it takes money, but it was beyond what I expected.  Tooling was estimated around $35,000!


    He gave me an example (for comparison) of a plastic coat hanger he designed and now being retailed at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Using aluminum for tooling (the cheapest kind of tooling he says, which won't work for my invention), it cost him $5000.


    I would also have to factor in the bill for their services, which they are currently drawing up a quote.


    They are recommending me to have them create the design, marketing materials, and presentation for companies to license for royalties or sell out-right.


    I was hoping to sell for myself and use the money to fund another project - one that I'm sure no big company would ever want to do (but have potential for consumer acceptance), which is why it is important for me to be able to self-fund it.

    If I were to fund everything, I would still like to know if there will be enough sales to make it worth my while.  I would have to worry about marketing, pitching and convincing retail stores to carry it, and creating the buzz and getting the word out that something like this exists.

    I'd also have to deal with negotiations and paperwork, which is not my forte.  I feel a bit in over my head, unless I can find someone who is willing to do this without cost until the money starts rolling in, basically work in advance.

    Would this be a good candidate for Kickstarter?

    • 4 posts
    January 31, 2012 4:16 AM EST

    Tooling for injection molding is relatively expensive. Why do you say aluminum tooling will not work for your project?

    I am running aluminum tooling right now that has produced over 250,000 parts and is still in good shape.  While many people say aluminum tooling is short life or temporary tooling, that is just not the case.

    However - aluminum tooling is not always the least expensive tooling anymore. Most often the least expensive tooling is built in P20 steel off shore, then have it shipped to the US for production.

    Really - you need to do an interim step first, which is to have a prototype or prototypes made.  This will prove out your design, give you a working product to use for marketing and or fund finding, and give you an opportunity to make any design changes needed before you spend the big dollars on tooling.  Remember - tool modifications are hugely expensive.

    There is a more detailed explanation on my website of the steps you should follow to develop a plastic product.



    Scott at - Premier Plastic Molding & Tooling Inc.