5 Essential Tech Lab Startup Tools for Electronic Product Prototypes

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Tech lab startups are popping up in every major city across the U.S. with profitability pretty high. There has never been as an exciting moment as now when it comes to the tech startup space.

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A tech startup with a clear path to profits and signs of revenue growth may be valued at $5 million or more. And simply having a tech prototype can make your startup’s valuation between $1 million to $2 million.

What does this mean? To get started, you need a tech product prototype. Many tech startups are opting for their very own tech lab, building prototypes in-house, rather than outsourcing to Asia. But creating a tech lab startup is not all that simple.

You need the right equipment, otherwise you will find yourself blowing through the budget fairly quickly. This is because changes are inevitable when it comes to building an electronic product prototype. You may need to replace electronic components along the way, like TVS diodes for example.

Not sure what those are? This is why you need to really put thought into your startup’s tech lab in order to maximize budget on your electronic product prototype build. To help, we compiled five tech lab tools you need to start with. Let’s dive in!

1. Power Supply

For obvious reasons, power supply is the top tech lab startup tool, because without power, you can’t really do much during your tech product prototype build. For example, your tech lab power supply lets you test circuits before integrating them into the prototype, thus decreasing faulty circuits after development.

Have a power supply that allows you to test electrical components quickly, speeding the actual build time. Finding a power supply can be a bit challenging, and costly. Do your research and qualify your tech lab’s needs before spending too much or too little.

2. Multimeter

Once you have a power supply in place, you will need a multimeter, or a few multimeters at the ready to test the flow of current of the electrical components within the prototype. This is a startup tech lab tool essential to the overall product manufacturing.

What is a multimeter? Multimeters possess AC and DC voltage and current inputs and outputs. They essentially measure resistance for example. The multimeter is a tech lab tool you absolutely need because you will need to troubleshoot the electronics of your product often. The good news is that multimeters are relatively cheap.

3. Precision Tools

When building an electronic product prototype, it is all about precision. You will have your product casings and the electrical components that need to be gently fitted within the product. Your hands will probably not do the job, especially if the product is small.

For this, you will need a few precision tools in your tech lab toolkit. Precision tools include ESD safe tweezers, wire strippers, shear cutters, precision screwdrivers, alligator test clamps, static electricity bracelets, and much more.

4. Soldering Iron

This is one of the top tech lab tools when it comes to placing electrical components into your prototype product. Soldering irons melt solder between two electrical components, keeping them very secure during the prototype build process.

You can choose between plugged in soldering irons and cordless. It is always good to have a few soldering irons at the ready if one is damaged, or if multiple people are working together.

5. Oscilloscope

Building electronic product prototypes means measuring and observing signals. How do you measure these signals? An oscilloscope, also called an o-scope. O-scopes show voltage and time on an axis, like a graph model. The shape of the electrical signal can show you what is happening with a circuit if problems arise, or if you need to do fine-tuning.

Oscilloscopes come in a few different varieties, like analog o-scopes, or digital o-scopes. It is best practice for tech lab startups to go with the digital o-scopes. Digital o-scopes can give you insight into the products frequency, pulse width, peak voltage, and more. This essential tech lab tool can be a bit pricey, starting out at $100.

Maximize Your Startup’s Electrical Product Prototype Build With The Right tech Lab Tools

The above tech lab tools are just to get you started in the right direction. There are plenty of other tools you will need to have in your tech lab startup arsenal in order to maximize prototype success.

Having the right tools is very important. You don’t have the right tool, improvise, and you could find you made a costly mistake. Build your tech lab right, and then build your prototype.

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Ryan Kh is a big data and analytic expert, marketing digital products on Amazon's Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he's totally into it. Follow Ryan’s daily posts on Catalyst For Business.