our product dEVELOPMENT process



Most new inventions or ideas need some level of research to determine how to develop the idea into a feasible product, and at a reasonable cost of manufacture.  You may only have an idea at this point, and will need to fully develop the concept before design work can begin.

During this first phase of development, Bluefish will identify what is needed to develop your idea, create the initial system design and begin preliminary concepts that will outline how your product can be produced.



In this stage Bluefish will engineer and create 3D models of your product so that a functional prototype can be created.  The engineering work can be used by Bluefish to make a prototype (next stage).

The engineering developed at this stage is often referred to as “Shop Drawings”, because they are used to produce a prototype but are not intended to be used to manufacture the product. Additional engineering work is often needed before full manufacturing can begin.


Industrial Design is the process of creating the look and feel of the product.  Bluefish will create a visual representation of your idea through drawings, renderings or other 2D art.  We determine (with you) what your product looks like, how it works, and how it could be made.

The artwork produced at this stage is often helpful to clients who want to gather additional market research, present the concept to potential investors, or seek the advice of a patent attorney (note that Bluefish Concepts cannot give patent advice).   If you are moving to the next stage of Prototype development, the designs created in this phase will serve as the foundation.



Bluefish specializes in creating functional, appearance models (sometimes called "design prototypes").  This means the prototypes we build will both LOOK and FUNCTION like the finished product.

These models can be used for a variety of purposes, including sales presentations, market research, presentations to potential investors, providing assistance to a manufacturer to help determine production costs, or to evaluate the overall feasibility of the concept.   Please note that it is very unlikely that the first prototype you make will be ready to go directly to manufacturing. Prototyping is part of the development process, and learnings from making prototypes often leads to additional rounds of design and modeling.



what comes next?

After you have completed the development your product with Bluefish, you may choose to pursue manufacturing with a factory.  Bluefish is not a manufacturer, but we do have partnerships with vendors that specialize in product manufacturing. Bluefish can assist you with the process, regardless of whether you choose to work with our partner or another vendor you have selected.  


As mentioned before, the engineering and models that Bluefish has created can be very useful for a factory to understand the product, see how it works, and develop preliminary costing estimates.  However, in order to go into full production additional work will be required by your vendor to create the engineering needed to begin tooling or manufacturing. This part of the process is called Design For Manufacturing (DFM).

What else to consider?

If you are interested in developing a product with the idea of taking it to market, we recommend that you do lots of research before starting the process.  Here are some things we recommend that you consider:


1. A great idea is only the beginning.

Unfortunately, having a great idea isn’t enough to get your product on store shelves.  You should understand the resources needed to design, develop, manufacture, market and distribute a product, and you need the financial ability to support all the related costs through the process.  Before starting the development of your project, we recommend that you become familiar with all the steps and the costs involved.


2. Become an expert in your business. 

Whether you decide to work with Bluefish, or some other development company, you should do lots of research on the industry you plan to enter, your potential competition, the costs and fees involved in operating a business, barriers to entry, the distribution channels, and the operational resources needed.  Also, you should become very proficient in the type of technology you want to use, so you can understand and give proper direction regarding the development of your new product.  


3. You should understand how to

protect your Intellectual property.

We are not patent attorneys, and as such we cannot give patent advice, or make an assessment in regards to your ability to secure a patent.  We highly recommend that you speak with a licensed patent attorney who can help you understand the patent process and your options in regards to protecting your IP.

creating a plan 

Since each client and product is unique, it is impossible to provide an exact development plan and fee estimate until we know more about your needs. However, for your budgeting purposes, you can reference the following:

⦁    Projects that are specified for only Ideation and Design work (Stages 1 and 2 in our process) typically require about 2 to 3 months of time, and cost in the range of $10,000 to $50,000.  This depends on the complexity of the product, the amount of research needed to determine the technology used, and the amount of design time needed to create the product.

⦁    Projects that are both designed and developed into functional prototypes typically take 3 to 9 months of time, and cost anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000.  The time and cost of these projects varies greatly based on the product type, the technology necessary to build and the size and complexity of the prototype.