Prototyping- What do you do?

I want to set up potentiometers and buttons and I'm looking for ideas on how you prototype? I'm seeking any ideas for inspiration. For example do you use cardboard and if so how do you attach your potentiometers to it? I'd love to see photos.

{url][/url], just the photos

I would start with a solderless breadboard for a quick sanity check on my circuit, then move on to soldering the circuit on stripboard (like the first picture at the link provided by zwieblum).

I would start with a solderless breadboard for a quick sanity check on my circuit, then move on to soldering the circuit on stripboard (like the first picture at the link provided by zwieblum).

What if you're at a development stage before that? I just get annoyed at potentiometers sitting around and I find the cardboard approach awkward.

Before what? The only development stage before solderless breadboard would be drawing out a schematic or doing research. Making circuits on solderless breadboard is the first development stage with hardware for me.

I think we have an English as a second language person who does not know the right terminology

prototyping is making the first whole system after you have everything bread boarded. prototyping is the stage between development and production.

how I do development:

what I do is mount displays and controls on non conductive material I have pack ratted for decades. I want controls and displays to always be in the same place at the same angles. For desktop utility items, like my 5 display LCD module mount, I mount on thick plexiglass and I drill and tap a hole in the back for a tripod mount. I have a phenolic board with holes drilled and tapped for my usual modules and Arduinos, so I can rigidly mount modules.

one way to mount modules: mount a 4-40 or 2-56 or the metric equivalent nylon coupler to the module, and the other end to the board

I make headers for modules, so one end is always wired right.

a euro style terminal board allows multiple connections to 5 VDC, 3.3 VDC, I2C SDA & SCL and Ground. this reduces incidents of pins popping out

There are holes drilled and tapped through the phenolic, for Unos and Megas. if I need to develop on a Mega I put 4-40 screws in the Mega holes, put a nylon nut on the screw, and the module rests on the nuts and the solder joints do not contact the phenolic

pictures coming, after I dig down to the surface of my desk

Let's not get pedantic, breadboarding is the first stage of electronics prototyping...

Prototyping can be broken down into:

Looks like and Works like...

Breadboarding is a proof of concept prototype, just to test the circuit and functionality.

A looks like or works like decision is made based on what is more important, for many electronics projects, the works like is more important and therefore started first. Sometimes if both are important, then this is merged together at some point.

The final goal is to create a production ready prototype as the final deliverable.

It can go back to prototype stage if there are other needs identified during development.

It depends on the project and complexity. I've done everything from using perf boards to hand wiring and stuffing in inexpensive plastic boxes. Again a decision must be made as to what is important and who your presenting to.

The closer you can get to a final mock up the easier it is for others to see your vision.

So if you need an enclosure there are many options out there. For example a guitar pedal stuffed into a box that works correctly would go a long way into showing it's potential. You might have drawings that show the conceptual final design if it is very different from the prototype.

If it passes this stage, perhaps it's time to make PCB's... again the components and designs might affect final production. For example do you use SMD pots and input jacks (again pedal example)... or do you hand solder jumpers... decisions decisions...

It can be a lengthy and long process, especially the first ones in the category that you're designing for.

Have fun!