DIY: paper prototyping

Oh no, why is the hole off its positioning?

Gosh, i need to wait for another week as i made a minor mistake in the design.  

Does the above sound somewhat familiar? Such occurrences are painful, time wasting but can be minimized!

paper-fp I was "forced" to explore paper prototyping during internship as 3D printers, laser machine or a workshop are not common sightings in the industry.

This 2 layer paper prototype with its side reinforced with staple bullets allowed me to present my design to the management as an MVP (minimal viable product).

Although 3D modeling is beneficial, having a 1:1 physical prototype helps people touch, feel and visualize.

With this, I tried exploring paper prototyping in other projects.

Electronics board


This is a 1:1 paper print-out of an electronics board design. You can see that the potentiometer (blue cube on the bottom left) is off position.

The hole position for it's top leg is way off and a 4cents paper print-out helped me save time by not fabricating a board with error.



I had to CAD a 3D model (nothing complex just a circle with 3 holes) and waterjet with a piece of 8mm thick aluminum.

As it turns out, doing CAD drawings at 1am lends to self destruction. You can see that the holes are not correctly aligned.

Imagine if I did not verify the drawing:

  • 30 mins of waterjet activity
  • 10 mins of frustration and regret
  • another 30 mins of waterjet activity

hs-highlight hs-aligned

I fixed the positioning, spent 30 happy minutes at the fabrication lab and it's completed!

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that this is part of another lab kit that i'm helping to fabricate. :)

Paper prototyping

There's something interesting that I would like to point out, though.

Paper prototyping seems to be a lingo in Human-Computer interaction related field of work. It is used to test User Interface design rapidly when developing products.

Here's a website that gives more insights on paper prototyping:

I'm really curious if there are people who are using similar techniques in their field of work. It's definitely not possible that i'm the only one who first thought of a different kind of paper prototyping.

Please drop me an text if you have something interesting to share!

~ken the prototyper