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What is the cost for the development of a product?

Developing an innovative product that doesn't exist yet is not an easy task. During the development process, stumble blocks emerge. Our team took the time to zoom in on the development cost of a product.

Let's look into the development cost of your product

Our advice to help you understand your product's development cost

How much it would cost to develop a hardware product is obviously a very difficult question. To answer this, you need to know all the details of the product or the development. It comes down to asking 'what does a car cost?’ which range from a few thousand euros to half a million. It depends on various things.

You can develop the same product in a few months or in a few years. A lot depends on what choices you make. How many off-the-shelf components you take, how many things you are going to custom develop, how much research you will do, how far you go, and how much risks you’re willing to take. There are a lot of trade-offs that you can make in that area.

You can break development down into two things. First, you need to be aware that you're talking about hardware. So, it’s all about physical components, pieces that need to be made. In low quantities, this often costs a lot of money. Even though you have exciting techniques such as 3D printing, you cannot always 3D print everything, and post-processing also costs a lot. So per piece, low volumes always cost a lot of money. This also means that you have to make different prototypes and make iterations. Nothing is right the first time, that's part of R&D. Also, suppose you order something and it has a mistake in it, it will have to be remade.

The second big cost driver in development is time. The first things that come to mind is the time it takes for the development itself, figuring out how you’ll handle it, and the 3D drawing. But what many people often forget is the time it takes to research from what materials you will make your pieces, which production techniques you are going to use and which supplier(s) you need. That can be quite a search on its own. And choosing the wrong supplier can be deadly. But, once you’re there, you still have to order the piece and what many people forget is the lead time that comes with it. It can often take three to six weeks delivering time. Imagine ordering a piece incorrectly, you’ll have to wait another six weeks. Meanwhile, the bill runs and costs pile up. So it’s important to keep the timing well under control and make the right choices.

To conclude, you have the development cost to come to a prototype or a series of prototypes. But there’s also the production costs, which is the highest. It's not because you've been able to make one device that works, that it's also applies when making hundreds of thousands of them. Then it’s something completely different. It involves production processes, tooling and molding, which require a significant investment cost and a considerable amount of time – sometimes a few months – to get your pieces done. That is the cost of production that you’ll have to consider.

The bottom line is that developing a hardware product costs a lot. But don't let that put you off. Developing such a product is a great adventure. And some parties can help you develop a hardware product step by step in the most efficient way.

We hope these tips & tricks will help you get a better idea of how to deal with development cost!

If you’re in need of a good partner, we can always help you figure this out for your project. Interested? Let’s plan a quick meeting to talk this through!