rapid prototyping

In my award-winning book, The Secret of the Magic eyePad, I show how to use this simple and powerful process to quickly test and refine design concepts, coming up with a “Minimum Viable Product” or MVP… resulting in better and simpler designs more quickly than are often achieved with other methods. When you question what you really need, and what you’d really like, the sky’s the limit!

RAPID Prototyping Project

Get my complete experiment, including:

  • Experiment overview & materials list
  • A video guide to four key videos, with hyperlinks and a short synopsis. These are all available on YouTube! You can access them right from this PDF on a computer.
  • My rapid prototyping worksheets for the Sit-upon Design Challenge.

Available FREE for a limited time to my VIP subscribers!

If you are under 13, please ask a parent or guardian to help.


rapid prototyping 101... in 4 short videos!

Hi! I’m Dr. Marsha Tufft, aka MK Tufft. In this series of four short videos, I show you how to use rapid prototyping to quickly test and develop a “Minimum Viable Product” or MVP to come up with a new a sit-upon design, using materials you already have on hand at home! 

This is the project from my award-winning book, The Secret of the Magic eyePad.

Rapid Prototyping is all about quick optimization of your design… rapid implementation to test and get feedback, then rolling in those product improvements to get to your best solution quickly! It’s used by engineers all over the world to design and improve products. You can learn these skills and apply them to almost any design project. What would you like to create?

part 1 - intro to rapid prototyping

In this first video, our objective is to create a sit-upon, something we could take on a hike or to the beach, sit down on, and maybe sketch or write. What does a sit-upon need to have? First we define criteria for our “sit-upon”… water resistant, and some padding. But how big does it need to be? How much padding do we really need? What are some padding options?

We can use the concept of Rapid Prototyping to identify those questions and answer them.

part 2 - simple tests to refine your concept quickly

We came up with our criteria, and an idea for padding, but will it work? Join me for the plop or pop test as I check out viability of bubble wrap padding. It’s light weight and waterproof… but will it pop when I plop?

Next question… how low can I go with size? What’s big enough? How can we test this quickly?

part 3 - bringing it all together for your first prototype or MVP

Fantastic! We’ve done a great job with our sit-upon design. But is there anything else on our wish list? Maybe a way to spread out more while sketching?

Next I tackle my next wish list item… a tarp. Then I ask, how low can I go with padding? Do we really need padding at all? Maybe not, for sketching on sand or the grass. But, I still need something to carry my tarp…so my first real MVP incorporates the lessons learned from all these tests!

part 4 - refine and improve... putney's 4 mvp's and how they evolved

We have a fantastic prototype or MVP that I would never had come up with if I just thought about re-creating the sit-upon from my childhood with modern materials. I have a tote that is optimized to carry my sketchbook, and which is big enough to cushion my bottom in sit-upon duty. I also have a trash bag tarp. Can I do better?

In this video, I show you how look at potential redesigns and further improvements… sometimes resulting in an over-design! But it’s all about learning as much as you can quickly so that you can improve FAST!

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