Introducing Prototype Gallery

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One of the best things about being a Kickstarter backer is getting a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made. Our Design and Technology creators share their earliest sketches and latest prototypes, tracing the evolution of their ideas and the iterative process behind bringing a complex project to life. That sense of authorship and access to a product's design history is largely absent elsewhere in culture. We’ve been working on a new feature that will make it easier for creators to showcase that hard work and creativity while allowing backers to understand the project's current stage of development.

The new Prototype Gallery will let creators add photos and videos of each step in their project’s development. They can dive deep into the back story without overloading their project page — everything will be neatly contained within the gallery. By flipping through, potential backers can see how an early proof of concept becomes a raw but functioning device and then takes on its final design. We selected a few creators to test out this feature starting today before releasing more widely in the coming months. Here are some examples from their galleries showing the five common stages of prototyping we’ve outlined:

Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Petcube: "For the Petcube Camera, created an Arduino-based prototype on a tripod mount, assembled with a laser pointer and rubber bands. Petcube Play is the next-gen version."
Petcube: "For the Petcube Camera, created an Arduino-based prototype on a tripod mount, assembled with a laser pointer and rubber bands. Petcube Play is the next-gen version."

Functional Prototype Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Mune: "Our second functional 3D printed prototype! Much more slick - but still felt a bit like a toy."
Mune: "Our second functional 3D printed prototype! Much more slick - but still felt a bit like a toy."

Appearance Prototype
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Alchema: "This is our CNC model before spray painting! CNC stands for "computer numerical control" where a machine shaves a big chunk of plastic into shapes we want."
Alchema: "This is our CNC model before spray painting! CNC stands for "computer numerical control" where a machine shaves a big chunk of plastic into shapes we want."

Design Prototype
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Shoka Bell: "CNC machined ABS and bicycle grade aluminium parts."
Shoka Bell: "CNC machined ABS and bicycle grade aluminium parts."

Production Prototype
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Mune: "Our first production prototype with custom-designed touch sensors. At last!"
Mune: "Our first production prototype with custom-designed touch sensors. At last!"

After this test period we plan to make the Prototype Gallery available to all creators launching Technology, Design, and Gaming Hardware projects. We hope this feature is useful to both creators and backers, and helps everyone appreciate all the ingenuity and effort that goes into the smallest details of these projects.