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Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Designers, Second Edition

Bjarki Hallgrimsson


Now in its second edition, Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design by practising product development consultant Bjarki Hallgrimsson is essential reading or both students and design professionals.

Prototyping and ModelMaking for Product Design goes behind the scenes to illustrates how prototypes are used to help designers understand problems better, explore more imaginative solutions, investigate human interaction more fully and test functionality so as to de-risk the design process. Following an introduction on the purpose of prototyping, specific materials, tools and techniques are examined in detail, with step-by-step tutorials and industry examples of real and successful products illustrating how prototypes are used to help solve design problems. Workflow is also discussed, using a mixture of hands-on and digital tools.

This new edition includes case studies representing technological developments such as prototyping user experience and interactive electronic products, as well as a new expanded section on digital modelmaking tools, including 3D printing and laser cutting.

The first chapters of the book explain why prototyping  is so important to the design process. The many uses of prototyping will be shown in the context of several comprehensive projects by some of the world’s leading design firms.

The second part is an introduction to the typical materials used by designers in their prototyping efforts and how to work with them.  In all cases, the approach is to use digital and manual tools in a complementary and effective fashion.  Tutorials were specifically developed that underline the back and forth of digital and manual ways of working. The emphasis is on the kinds of construction that can be done by the designers themselves. Health and safety is stressed in terms of personal responsibility and awareness.

Topics covered include:

Definition of prototyping and modelmaking

Prototyping as a form of problem solving


Physical and digital prototypes

Buidling by hand and using digital technologies

A comprehensive modern prototyping approach is crucial to making informed design decisions, and forms a strategic part of a successful designer’s toolkit.

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Bjarki Hallgrimsson is a practising product development consultant and an Associate Professor at the School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. 

Prototyping and Modelmaking for Designers: Table of Contents

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