When you come up with a brilliant new product, you want to hurry up and process it so that you can patent it. While this is an exciting time, you want to be sure that the product you are creating has at least one functional prototype. Constructing a prototype on your own may be a little more complicated than you might expect, which is why you should ask industrial machining companies for help.
Give the Engineers Your Specifics for Parts That Need Machining
Machining includes extrusion, drilling, cutting and molding. Most products that inventors create will need at least one of these machining processes. You do not have to give your whole design over to the engineers at a machining company--only the parts that will need to be cut, drilled, etc., to meet your specifics. Discuss at length with the engineers what materials you are looking for for these components, the strength of the materials you need, and the dimensions of the parts. Then the engineers can do a mock-up of your product/invention before handing it off to the machinists to create.
The Machinists Create the Perfect Parts
Because you do not have a factory in your backyard, you are unable to cut, mold, melt, shape, and perfect materials in the ways which you want for your invention. When machinists create these parts for you, they have everything they need at their fingertips, including CNC machines that are pre-programmed with the digitized plans that the engineers created of your invention. The parts for your prototype are created within just a few hours, rather than scrounging for parts you can turn into the parts you need for a prototype.
Collect the Parts, Fit Them and Test Them
The industrial company can either collect the parts and fit them together for you, or you can collect the individual parts yourself. Then you put them together in your home shop and test them. If everything works as intended, you can file for your patent. If not, you can have the company refabricate the parts to a new set of specifications.
If you are worried about your ideas being copied and patented before you can present your prototype to a patent office, make sure you have the engineers and the machinists, as well as the company as a whole, sign confidentiality agreements. This will protect your project until your prototype parts have been created, tested and patented. If you feel you need to, consult with a patent lawyer before you proceed with having the prototype's parts made.