Every inventor invents in his or her own special way, but there are certain steps that can help.
1) FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM!
Inventors are motivated by things that don’t work. imagine that your pencil keeps slipping out of your hand. You think you can invent a better pencil. Figure out the problem. Is the pencil too narrow? Is the paint to slippery. Think about what might improve the pencil so that the problem is erased (no pun intended). Write your ideas down in a notebook.
2) DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Gather as much information as possible on the problem. Are pencils narrow to save on the amount of wood used in their construction? The more you know, the better the solution. If you would like to sell your pencil invention, ask friends and family if they would buy it and how much they’d be willing to pay for it.
3) DOES THE PROBLEM ALREADY HAVE A SOLUTION?
Go to your country’s Patent Office website (in Canada, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office) to do a search of patents to find out if someone has already invented a solution to the problem. If an invention for an improved pencil already exists, you can design something that you think will work even better to solve the problem.
4) WHAT WILL YOUR INVENTION DO?
Figure out what will make your invention special, and the characteristics in the final design that will enable the invention to do what you want it too do. For example, a new style of pencil with ridges may be easier to hold or a fatter pencil might be easier to find in a pencil box. Number them in order of importance. Focus on meeting the highest ranking ones.
5) LET YOUR IMAGINATION GO!
Brainstorm as many ideas to solve the problem of as possible. Next, turn these ideas into designs. Draw them in your note book. No matter how bizarre or unrealistic a design may seem, make sure to make sure to include it. Although a design may seem impossible, it might inspire a realistic solution.
6) NARROW IT DOWN!
Analyze your designs based on cost – how much will each cost to make, efficiency – how easy will each be to make , and other factors such as appeal for the intended user – how many people will like it. Choose a design and prepare working drawings. Working drawings feature 2-3 different views. Draw the views to scale, and write the actual dimensions on the scaled image. Also, think about the best materials to use.
7) MAKE IT REAL!
Make a prototype (model) based on your working drawings. Figure out how you can use existing materials that you may already have for the prototype. Once you’ve completed your prototype, experiment with it.
8) GIVE YOUR INVENTION A NAME!
Have fun. You can name it to describe what the invention does – like “Chubby Pencil”, or name it after yourself, a friend, your mom, or you can just make the name up. Make it memorable.
9) PROTECT YOUR IDEA!
Patents and trademarks are granted by the government, and give owners the right to be the only maker and seller of the invention for a specific time period. Avoid patenting an invention until you know that you will be able to sell it since it costs a lot of money to apply for and receive a patent.
10) FINE TUNING IT!
Perfect the look of the invention. Often, inventors may need to find a specialist like an industrial designer to help them do this.
If you think that your invention is going to be a hit, it will cost a lot of money to get it ready for future sales. Check out banks for assistance, ask your family or friends if they would like to invest in your invention, shake out all the change in your piggy bank.
12) MAKING MANY COPIES!
Figure out how best to manufacture the invention. Does it have to be made in a factory? Manufacturing involves taking the working drawings, and using them to produce a large quantity of the invention.
13) FIND A CUSTOMER!
After all your hard work, you want to make sure your invention has customers. This stage is called “Branding and Marketing” which includes designing an attractive package, creating advertising, talking to store buyers and potential customers, placing advertisements in newspapers, and more!