Prototype Design Pattern in Rust

1. Definition

The Prototype design pattern involves creating objects based on a template of an existing object through cloning. It allows you to create a copy of an existing object without making the system dependent on their classes.

2. Problem Statement

Imagine you're developing a game where you need multiple instances of a particular enemy, and creating each instance from scratch, with initializations, is expensive in terms of time and resources.

3. Solution

The Prototype pattern lets you copy the already existing object (the prototype) to avoid costly initialization when creating a new instance. This can be particularly useful when objects have numerous shared configurations and only a few differences.

4. Real-World Use Cases

1. Spawning characters in video games that have the same attributes as the original.

2. Cloning structures in graphics editors.

3. Copying cells in spreadsheet applications.

5. Implementation Steps

1. Create an abstract prototype base that defines a clone method.

2. Concrete prototype classes will implement this clone method to return a copy of themselves.

3. Client code can then clone prototypes instead of creating new instances from scratch.

6. Implementation in Rust Programming

// Step 1: Abstract prototype with clone method
pub trait Cloneable {
    fn clone_box(&self) -> Box<dyn Cloneable>;
impl<T> Cloneable for T
    T: 'static + Clone + Cloneable,
    fn clone_box(&self) -> Box<dyn Cloneable> {
// Step 2: Concrete prototype
#[derive(Debug, Clone)]
struct Enemy {
    health: u32,
    speed: f32,
impl Enemy {
    fn new(health: u32, speed: f32) -> Self {
        Enemy { health, speed }
// Implementing Cloneable for Enemy so that it can be cloned using the prototype pattern
impl Cloneable for Enemy {}
// Step 3: Client code
fn main() {
    let original_enemy = Enemy::new(100, 2.5);
    let cloned_enemy: Box<Enemy> = original_enemy.clone_box().downcast().unwrap();
    println!("Original Enemy: {:?}", original_enemy);
    println!("Cloned Enemy: {:?}", *cloned_enemy);


"Original Enemy: Enemy { health: 100, speed: 2.5 }"
"Cloned Enemy: Enemy { health: 100, speed: 2.5 }"


1. Cloneable is the trait that all prototype objects should implement, allowing for the objects to be cloned.

2. Enemy is a concrete prototype class that derives the Clone trait and implements the Cloneable trait, allowing it to be cloned.

3. In the client code, we first create an original_enemy. Instead of creating a new enemy instance from scratch, we clone the original_enemy to produce the cloned_enemy, which has the same attributes.

7. When to use?

The Prototype pattern is especially useful when:

1. Instances of a class can have only a few different combinations of state, and creating new instances is more expensive than copying an existing one.

2. Objects need to be independent of the systems that create them.

3. Classes to instantiate are specified during runtime, not compile time.