August 16, 2023

Medallion Prototyping in China: Your Two Choices

One of our many expertise areas is prototyping, and medallion prototyping—a unique blend of art, engineering, and craftsmanship is part of the process. If you've a unique medallion product in mind, this quick read will tell you what you need to know. 

Medallion prototyping is the process of creating a detailed and functional model of a medallion, which can be a coin, badge, or any ornamental piece. From intricate designs to simple elegance, the possibilities are endless.

What types of medallions can be prototyped in China?

Almost any type, from commemorative coins to brand logos and beyond. If you have a unique idea, then we would love to speak with you, the call’s on us. 

For those who prefer video content, here’s a video summary of what you’re about to read below.

Medallion Prototyping in China: Your Two Choices and the Elephant 

If you’re serious about going to China for medallion prototyping, knowing the lay of the land is essential. There are two ways you can go about this, on your own and with a contract manufacturer. Here’s what each choice means for you.  

Choice #1: Going in On Your Own

This choice might seem appealing at first glance due to potentially lower costs or perceived simplicity. 

However, the risks are many:

  • Subpar Quality: Without the right expertise, the end product may fall short of expectations. This is only if you’re going for quality. If you’re wanting to produce a copy of an existing product and slap your brand on it, a CM might not be the best fit. 

  • Language Barriers: Miscommunication due to language differences can lead to critical errors in the project. Especially if you’re making a custom product. 

  • Potential Scams: Without vetted connections, your chances of falling prey to false promises or “yes men'' skyrockets. This just means you might lose some money before finding a suitable supplier. 30% of Morpho’s customers lose $50,000 on average before finding us. 

  • Disappointment: If you're after a high-end custom product, this approach may lead to dissatisfaction with the final result. 

Choice #2: Going in With an Expert (Contract Manufacturer)

This approach involves collaborating with a contract manufacturer like MorphoMFG, which has honed its expertise in China. Here's why this path is often the wiser choice:

  • Quality Assurance: The Component Control Method (CCM), used at MorphoMFG, for example,  ensures each part is crafted by specialists, yielding superior results.

  • Peace of Mind: The contract manufacturer should take responsibility for deposits and the entire process, safeguarding your investment & basically guaranteeing best possible results. 

  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the vast knowledge of engineers and designers who guide you through every step.

  • IP Protection: With the CCM, your intellectual property remains secure as individual factories are unaware of the end product's design.

  • Connections: A contract manufacturer like MorphoMFG leverages their extensive network of vetted factories and suppliers, enhancing safety and quality.

While the independent route may seem tempting, the contract manufacturer's way offers a more reliable way of realizing your product’s vision. Choosing to work with a knowledgeable partner opens doors to not only a beautiful product but a smooth and educational experience.

What about the elephant in the title room?

We (MorphoMFG) are a contract manufacturer. So this whole article is a bit biased. But our bias doesn't undermine the value and advantages this approach offers. We've been working with Western entrepreneurs and companies for the past 10 odd years. We’ve seen the good and the bad on both sides, and our goal is to provide you with an honest look at what to expect. 

At the end of the day, your success is what matters most, and we're here to help you understand the landscape, even if you decide to walk a different path. Now back to school - here’s what prototyping medallions in China looks like (sort of). 

What Does Medallion Prototyping Look Like in China?

1. Understanding the Client's Vision

We start by listening. Your idea, your vision, is the core of the design. Even a rough sketch can be the seed for a beautiful product. It’s very important to us that our clients have a strong vision for their product and a desire to see it come to life. 

2. Designing and 3D Modeling

Our talented designers translate your idea into a 3D model using advanced CAD tools. You can see your medallion from every angle before it's made. If you come to us with a prepared design, our engineers will assess its feasibility, and suggest changes or iterations that would be more prudent, for example, result in a higher quality product or be more cost-effective. 

3. Selection of Materials and Methods

We choose the perfect materials and prototyping methods to match your design. Quality and aesthetics go hand-in-hand. 

4. Prototyping and Testing

With methods like 3D printing or CNC machining, your prototype comes to life. We then test it for look, feel, and durability, making sure it's just right.

5. Client Collaboration and Feedback

Your feedback guides us. Any tweaks or changes are swiftly made, ensuring the prototype is exactly what you envisioned.

6. Preparation for Manufacturing

If mass production is your goal, the prototype is your blueprint. We prepare everything, ensuring a smooth transition from one to many. 

7. Timeline and Costs

We understand the importance of time and budget. Our process is designed to be efficient without compromising quality. 

Why Prototype Medallions in China with MorphoMFG?

Prototyping with us means leveraging the manufacturing prowess of China with a team that’s gone through the process many times with satisfied clients. That said, we’re only eager to take on custom, high-end product ideas. 

What makes MorphoMFG different? 

Our focus on collaboration, quality, and the Component Control Method sets us apart.

How does MorphoMFG ensure quality?

By sourcing parts from specialists and assembling in-house, we maintain strict quality control. We also handle all shipping and logistics. 

IP Protection is Important (and Impossible)

I’ve mentioned the Component Control Method (CCM) before. This unique method allows us to source each part of your product from those who specialize in it. It ensures top quality and helps with IP protection.

How does this method work with medallion prototyping? It works the same as with any other type of product. If your custom design is not a fit for the CCM, we’ll give you the best route to safeguarding your IP for as long as possible. 

But if your product takes off… It will be copied into oblivion 

We understand the value of your ideas. Our process is designed to safeguard your intellectual property at every stage. But if your product takes off, it’s going to be copied into oblivion. We focus on giving you enough of a head start so that by the time they figure it out, you are already an established brand in the market.

Medallion prototyping with MorphoMFG is not just a process; it's a partnership. From your initial idea to the final product, our team is with you every step of the way. If you're ready to transform your vision into something tangible, we're here to help. Reach out to MorphoMFG today, and let's create something extraordinary together.

Questions? See below or click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What's the big deal about Medallion Prototyping in China? Why not somewhere else?

Answer: China's known for its vast manufacturing capabilities and specialized factories. For medallions, this means access to the best materials, skilled craftsmen, and cost-effective production. It's about finding the right balance of quality and price.

Question: I'm worried about scams or poor quality. How do I know I can trust a CM?

Answer: That's a valid concern! Working with a reputable CM like MorphoMFG, with proven experience and connections, minimizes those risks. We vouch for our partners and take responsibility for your project, ensuring quality from start to finish.

Question: Can't I just handle the prototyping myself? Why would I need a CM?

Answer: You could, but it's a complex process. A CM has the know-how to navigate the manufacturing landscape, manage communication, and handle specialized tasks like IP protection. It's like having a guide who knows the territory - it makes the journey smoother.

Question: What if I have a unique design or specific requirements for my medallion?

Answer: Custom designs are welcome! A CM, especially one using the Component Control Method, matches your unique needs with factories that specialize in those areas. Whether it's a special material or intricate design, the right expertise is applied to your project.

About the author

Josh Fairbairn

CEO of MorphoMFG, fluent in Mandarin, Blogger, and Youtuber. Josh loves interesting materials and the craftsmanship that goes into creating innovative products - watches, tech, games, whisky, leather, wood, blockchain & electronics. Josh and his team in Guangzhou, China are striving to create (& consume) the world’s highest quality products. Partnering with entrepreneurs globally to help solve the world's problems - whether small or large.

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