Prototype: A first or preliminary version of a device or vehicle from which other forms are developed.
Essentially, prototyping is a form of short term production that enables customers to test run components or pieces prior to full production. This allows for changes and modifications to be made to a specific part prior to a full production run. Rapid prototyping is something we here at Chicago Nut & Bolt are very familiar with.
Although some machine shops can only work on larger volume runs, we have the capabilities to run smaller numbers of pieces, which makes us good candidates for prototyping services. How does the prototype process work with us? First, our customers present us with blueprints of the specifications they require and ask for a small number of pieces to be machined. Since we stock many bolts, screws, and other fastener blanks, we can perform machining processes on a rapid basis. Need a specific material? We work with a variety of materials, including carbon steel, alloy steel, raw steel, and stainless steel, and can assist in choosing a material that meets all environmental and corrosion requirements. Once the prototype is created, you can test it to your specific applications and ensure that it complies with your specific geometry, joint design, and structure.
What happens once the final prototype is machined? In many cases, we can turn the prototypes around into a larger volume—we work with our customers from the prototype phase through the final production run. Why choose numerous manufacturers when you can come to us, with our experience of engineering prototypes into your final products?
 Prototype definition provided by Oxford Dictionaries.