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Encyclopedia > Prototype

A prototype is an original type, form, or instance of some thing serving as a typical example, basis, epitome, or standard for other things of the same category. Look up Prototype in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Merge-arrows. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with prototype. ... Image File history File links Merge-arrows. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with prototype. ...



In semantics, prototypes or prototypical instances combine the most representative attributes of a category. They are the best examples among the members of a category and serve as benchmarks against which the surrounding "poorer" instances are categorized (see Prototype Theory). The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... An attribute is the following: Generally, an attribute is an abstraction characteristic of an entity In database management, an attribute is a property inherent in an entity or associated with that entity for database purposes. ... Look up taxonomy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A benchmark is a point of reference for a measurement. ... Prototype Theory is a model of graded categorization in Cognitive Science, where some members of a category are more central than others. ...

Design and modeling

In many fields, there is great uncertainty as to whether a new design will actually do what is desired. New designs often have unexpected problems. A prototype is built to test the function and feel of the new design before starting production of a product. The construction of a fully working full-scale prototype, the ultimate test of concept, is the engineers' final check for design flaws and allows last-minute improvements to be made before larger production runs are ordered.

Building the full design is often expensive and can be time-consuming, especially when repeated several times -- building the full design, figuring out what the problems are and how to solve them, then building another full design. As an alternative, "rapid-prototyping" or "rapid application development" techniques are used for the initial prototypes, which implement part, but not all, of the complete design. This allows designers and manufacturers to rapidly and inexpensively test the parts of the design that are most likely to have problems, solve those problems, and then build the full design.

This counter-intuitive idea—that the quickest way to build something is, first to build something else—is shared by scaffolding and the telescope rule. Something is counter-intuitive if it does not seem likely to be true using the tool of human intuition or gut-feeling to perceive reality. ... This article is about the temporary framework. ...

Mechanical and electrical engineering

A prototype of the Polish economy hatchback car Beskid 106) designed in 1980s
Main article: rapid prototyping

The most common use of the word prototype is a functional, although experimental, version of a non-military machine (e.g., automobiles, domestic appliances, consumer electronics) whose designers would like to have built by mass production means, as opposed to a mockup, which is an inert representation of a machine's appearance, often made of some non-durable substance. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1200 × 900 pixel, file size: 151 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Prototype Beskid (car) Metadata This file... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1200 × 900 pixel, file size: 151 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Prototype Beskid (car) Metadata This file... Renault Megane hatchback, a proper hatchback which has shown huge success in Europe Peugeot 306 hatchback, with the hatch lifted and the parcel shelf tilted for access Hatchback is a term designating an automobile design, containing a passenger cabin with an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind the vehicle by... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Beskid 106 Beskid was a series of economy hatchback car prototypes in Poland designed by BOSMAL Automotive Research and Developement Center during 1982-1987, but never went into mass production. ... A rapid prototyping machine using Selective laser sintering. ... Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardised products on production lines. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ...

An electronics designer often builds the first prototype from breadboard or stripboard or perfboard, typically using "DIP" packages. However, more and more often the first functional prototype is built on a "prototype PCB" almost identical to the production PCB, as PCB manufacturing prices fall and as many components are not available in DIP packages, but only available in SMT packages optimized for placing on a PCB. A breadboard with a completed circuit A breadboard is a reusable solderless device used to build a (generally temporary) prototype of an electronic circuit and for experimenting with circuit designs. ... Veroboard is the trademark name of the electronics prototyping board manufactured by the Vero Electronics company. ... Perfboard is a base for prototyping circuit boards. ... PCB may refer to: Brazilian Communist Party (in Portuguese, Partido Comunista Brasileiro) Communist Party of Bolivia (in Spanish, Partido Comunista de Bolivia) Pakistan Cricket Board PCB Piezotronics PCBoard, a bulletin board system software Police Complaints Board, which oversaw the system for handling complaints made against police forces in England and...

Builders of military machines and aviation prefer the terms "experimental" and "service test".

Computer science

In many computer programming languages, a function prototype is the declaration of a subroutine or function. However, in prototype-based programming (in the context of object-oriented programming), a prototype is an object that can be cloned in order to produce new objects. “Programming” redirects here. ... A function prototype in C or C++ is a declaration of a function that omits the function body but does specify the functions name, arity, argument types and return type. ... In computer science, a declaration specifies a variables dimensions, identifier, type, and other aspects. ... In computer science, a subroutine (function, method, procedure, or subprogram) is a portion of code within a larger program, which performs a specific task and can be relatively independent of the remaining code. ... Prototype-based programming is a style of object-oriented programming in which classes are not present, and behaviour reuse (known as inheritance in class-based languages) is performed via a process of cloning existing objects that serve as prototypes. ... Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that uses objects and their interactions to design applications and computer programs. ...

It can also refer to the Prototype Javascript Framework. The Prototype Javascript Framework is a Javascript framework that provides an Ajax framework and other utilities. ...

Computer software engineering

Main article: Software Prototyping

In Software Engineering, a prototype generally refers either to a breadboard (or evolutionary) prototype or a throwaway (or one-off) prototype. Breadboard prototypes are often software in a development stage, focusing on a subset of the total requirements for a product. These prototypes usually are intended to evolve into the final design. Project managers may formally identify a software component as prototype to communicate with stakeholders that the component may or may not comprise the techniques ultimately allocated to the product design, or to meet business objectives. Software prototyping is the process of creating an incomplete model of the future full-featured software program, which can be used to let the users have a first idea of the completed program or allow the clients to evaluate the program. ... Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. ...

It should not be assumed that the prototype is merely for testing concepts (throwaway). That would be an aspect of a "research" project or "proof of concept." Prototypes provide the software developers with a "working model" for demonstration or use by customers, quality-assurance, business analysts, and managers to confirm or make changes to requirements, help define interfaces, develop collaborating components, and to provide proof of incremental achievement of scheduled contractual agreements. Software Prototyping serves any and all of these purposes in practice. A proof of concept is a short and/or incomplete realization of a certain method or idea(s) to demonstrate its feasibility. ... Software prototyping is the process of creating an incomplete model of the future full-featured software program, which can be used to let the users have a first idea of the completed program or allow the clients to evaluate the program. ...

Extreme Programming uses iterative design to gradually add one feature at a time to the initial prototype, attempting to minimize "irreducible complexity". Extreme Programming (or XP) is a software engineering methodology, the most prominent of several agile software development methodologies, prescribing a set of daily stakeholder practices that embody and encourage particular XP values (below). ... Iterative design is a design methodology based on a cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a work in progress. ... Irreducible complexity (IC) is the argument intended to support intelligent design creationism[1] and refute evolution that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler, or less complete predecessors, and are at the same time too complex to have arisen naturally through chance mutations. ...

Continuous learning approaches within organizations or businesses may also use the concept of business or process prototypes through software models.

Scale modeling

In the field of scale modeling (which includes model railroading, vehicle modeling, airplane modeling, military modeling, etc.), a prototype is the real-world basis or source for a scale model—such as the real EMD GP38-2 locomotive—which is the prototype of Athearn's (among other manufacturers) locomotive model. Technically, any non-living object can serve as a prototype for a model, including structures, equipment, and appliances, and so on, but generally prototypes have come to mean full-size real-world vehicles including automobiles (the prototype 1957 Chevy has spawned many models), military equipment (such as M4 Shermans, a favorite among US Military modelers), railroad equipment, motor trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and space-ships (real-world such as Apollo/Saturn Vs, or the ISS). A scale model of the Tower of London. ... This article needs cleanup. ... LLPX 2235 leads a train in Anaheim, California, in early 2005. ... Athearn makes model railroad equipment and is a subsidiary of Horizon Hobbies. ...

There is debate whether 'fictional' or imaginary items can be considered prototypes (such as Star Wars or Star Trek starships, since the feature ships themselves are models or CGI-artifacts); however, humans and other living items are never called prototypes, even when they are the basis for models and dolls (especially - action figures). An action figure is a posable plastic figurine of an action hero, superhero or a character from a movie or television program. ...


In the science and practice of metrology, a prototype is a human-made object that is used as the standard of measurement of some physical quantity to base all measurement of that physical quantity against. Sometimes this standard object is called an artifact. In the International System of Units (SI), the only prototype remaining in current use is the International Prototype Kilogram, a solid platinum-iridium cylinder kept at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) in Paris that, by definition is the mass of exactly one kilogram. Copies of this prototype are fashioned and issued to many nations to represent the national standard of the kilogram and are periodically compared to the Paris prototype. Metrology (from Greek metron (measure), and -logy) is the science of measurement. ... Various meters Measurement is an observation that reduces an uncertainty expressed as a quantity. ... A physical quantity is either a quantity within physics that can be measured (e. ... “SI” redirects here. ... General Name, Symbol, Number platinum, Pt, 78 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 6, d Appearance grayish white Standard atomic weight 195. ... This article is about the chemical element. ... The Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures, or BIPM) is a standards organization, one of the three organizations established to maintain the SI system under the terms of the Metre Convention. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... Look up definition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... “Kg” redirects here. ...

Until 1960, the meter was defined by a platinum-iridium prototype bar with two scratch marks on it (that were, by definition, spaced apart by one meter), the International Prototype Metre, and in 1983 the meter was redefined to be the distance covered by light in 1/299,792,458 of a second (thus defining the speed of light to be 299,792,458 meters per second). This article is about the unit of length. ... The speed of light in vacuum is an important physical constant denoted by the letter c for constant or the Latin word celeritas meaning swiftness.[1] It is the speed of all electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, in a vacuum. ... Look up second in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

It is widely believed that the kilogram prototype standard will be replaced by a definition of the kilogram that will define another physical constant (likely either Planck's constant or the elementary charge) to a defined constant, thus obviating the need for the prototype and removing the possibility of the prototype (and thus the standard and definition of the kilogram) changing very slightly over the years because of loss or gain of atoms. In physics, a physical constant is a physical quantity of a value that is generally believed to be both universal in nature and not believed to change in time. ... A commemoration plaque for Max Planck on his discovery of Plancks constant, in front of Humboldt University, Berlin. ... The elementary charge (symbol e or sometimes q) is the electric charge carried by a single proton, or equivalently, the negative of the electric charge carried by a single electron. ...

See also

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  Results from FactBites:
PROTOTYPING (1422 words)
Prototypes may be easily changed or even discarded.
Early prototypes may be of low fidelity, dismissed as toys.
Prototyping is an adaptive process that may not exhibit
Metro Rapid Prototyping operates an SLA-250, 2 SLA 5000 and an SLA 7000 in Noblesville, Indiana.
Toledo Prototype LLC operates a Dimension BST and a ZPrinter 310 in Toledo, Ohio.
The Rapid Prototyping Center at the University of Louisville, Kentucky is operates 1 SLS2000 and 1 SLS2500+.
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