Truth is that it makes a lot of sense to develop product internally.... to a degree. Cater to the strengths of your team when it comes to product development up until the point where you realize your energies need to be spent elsewhere. For example, should you run out and purchase the latest and greatest machine for tens of thousands of dollars in order to build prototypes and maybe an initial pilot run with the possibility of finding out that the technology isn't a great fit for your application? That's an expensive mistake but one I've seen companies make when it comes to investing in non-production equipment.
Would you hire an engineer full-time to take on a month long project with no defined role thereafter? Probably not, that's why there are specialty engineering firms on contract.
Building a prototype is a similar endeavor. If you're not familiar with all the methods and tools available to you, nor with the amount of effort the project will take, it can be a foolish and risky move to do it all in house while consuming some valuable and time-sensitive resources.
We serve a variety of vertical markets and this has allowed us to learn a bit about many methods outside of our own vacuum and alongside experts in fields like advanced plastics, consumer electronics, and machine design which we can apply to your specific product.
Share your comments and lessons learned for others below, let's discuss building prototypes!