Innovative technology is shaping the medical industry for the better. New medical devices not only improve patient care and save lives, but can also help to manage resources. But before a new device can go into manufacturing, it has to go through prototyping and this phase in the product development cycle carries a significant importance in the medical sector. It is important to partner with someone who not only is a prototyping expert, but is also a manufacturing expert in high precision tools. Knowing the critical elements that go into manufacturing high precision devices, will make for better and more efficient prototypes.
VANGEST prototyped and manufactured a small series production for the CovSense portable biochemical analyzer which is a Covid-19 innovation project for the Portuguese market, developed in a partnership between 3DTECH, CARBUS, FC.ID, Farm.ID and INSA. This portable device allows to increase the testing process, since it can be used anywhere and thus prevents new cases of infection, decreases hospitalizations and improves resource management.
“One of the advantages of partnering with VANGEST is that we are experts in the entire product development cycle and knowing what comes before and after each phase, gives our customers better outcomes.”
The look and feel of a product are crucial to the perception of it. The aesthetics can make a person either feel safe, or calm or the opposite. Through shapes and materials, we give a product a certain look, and thus integrate it into a certain environment or context.That is why the design is a critical element to the success of a device and can greatly impact the outcome of the project.
After researching trends, concepts and ideations were presented in design with solutions considering user experience, its function and context of use, and all functionalities of the equipment itself.
Through 3D CAD we begin to get a clearer view of the conceptual design by defining real dimensions of the device and the parts, and how they will work with each other. 3D visualization is a tool for presenting ideas and designs in a realistic way and facilitates the process of choosing an aesthetic concept for the device.
At this stage, we define in detail, the dimensions and fit between the parts of the analyzer. Using advanced structural and rheological analysis, we can predict the optimal temperature, stress and pressure, which will determine the composition and properties of the plastic materials to be used in production.
Through a 1st prototype made by 3D printing, we can validate the assembly of the different components, namely the attachment of the electronics to the plastic parts, or the operation of all the parts with each other. This is the phase where the product comes to life and can be tested for its true performance and specifications.
Small Series Production
Using silicone molds, our Rapid Manufacturing team can reproduce a product previously designed and developed in 3D. Silicone molds are the perfect technique to move forward with small serial production, where we can ensure the repetition of plastic parts, with excellent precision. For this project, we did a production run of 10 devices. One of the biggest advantages of silicone molding technology is the fact that it is a fast process, which makes it possible to verify and validate the design and functionality of a product in a short period of time, speeding up its launch on the market.
More than ever, with increasing demand in the medical field, new devices are being developed. Prototyping is a crucial step in the development of a new product, not only for reducing costs throughout the development process, but also for anticipating problems that would otherwise only be detected in the production phase. With a working prototype, it is also possible to ensure in a timely manner that devices are aligned with medical compliance.