Creating Good Design

Whether you’re sketching ideas on paper or creating a model with CAD technology, planning is one of the most important stages of the manufacturing process.  Still, despite all your planning, you might need to make multiple prototypes based on how they function in the real world.

Industries we typically serve:

  • Automotive
  • Defense military
  • Sports & recreation
  • Industrial
  • Construction
  • Prototypes & models

What is prototyping?

A prototype is a rough draft version of a product. It’s the next stage after developing a solid design concept. To avoid overlooked technical aspects of the product you’re creating, we use prototyping as a means to test out our ideas before committing to the final product. The product must be precise so it can function as a component, be dependable once integrated into your product, and meet or exceed customer expectations.
  • Functional
  • Precise
  • Durable
  • Safe

What is a pattern?

A pattern is a composite or wood tool which is used to make the cast aluminum tool. Often , as in the case of thermoforming tools, the pattern and the prototype serve the same purpose. A pattern is a necessary requirement in order to produce a cast aluminum tool.

What to consider

Before creating a prototype it’s important to make a model to ensure that end products will precisely fit if they are a component. It’s also important that materials hold up to force or the elements, depending on your products function. The more you anticipate problems, the fewer problems down the road. We can help you make sure your product is on track to be a success. You can never have too many sets of eyes on a project!

Key benefits of prototypes

It’s cheaper to make changes to a product before it’s manufactured. By making the prototype as accurate as possible, you save money by not having to go through a lot of iterations before perfecting your product.

Prototyping provides you with feedback. As much as you consider the physics and chemistry behind your plan, often the real world introduces variables you may have overlooked. It’s better to discover these issues before – rather than after – mass production.

  • Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Provides valuable feedback to improve your product
  • Ultimately creates a better product
  • Less risky than jumping into manufacturing straight from the design stage

The process

Each client is different, so we work with you to craft a vision together. Customers typically come in with an idea or drawing. Sometimes they already know which molds they want to use. Whether it’s sitting down with you to listen to your vision and craft possible solutions together, or you have everything planned out to the letter, we’re here to make sure your product – and ultimately your business – are successful.Finally, we create a prototype to ensure the best possible product solution before mass production.

Our prototyping machinery includes:
3- and 5-Axis machines up to 7’ x 12’ x 24


When it comes to prototyping, we have the experience and expertise to make your vision a reality.

More Info

Contour Engineering has decades of experience in our industry. Let our expertise help serve your customers’ needs for decades to come!

2305 E Coe Rd
Shepherd, MI 48883


Business Hours:
M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm