Two primary medical device prototyping techniques have advantages and disadvantages depending on your project’s needs. This guide will help you understand both so you can make an informed decision about which fits your needs when you’re ready to move on to the next step in your project!
Benefits of Prototyping
Prototyping is a critical step in the process of product development. It allows you to test your product idea before investing time and money into developing a final product. Prototyping also allows feedback from potential customers and makes changes to your product before mass production.
A functional prototype is a working model of your product that can be used to test its functionality. An example would be if you were designing a car, you would create a working mock-up or dummy car so that designers can test how easy it is to use the features and operate the vehicle. A non-functional prototype, on the other hand, does not look like or behave like the finished product but serves as a representation of what will eventually become the finished product.
3D printing creates prototypes for medical devices. It allows the creation of complex shapes and can be used to create prototypes quickly and cheaply. 3D printing is one way to test the different designs before committing to a final product. 3D printing creates three-dimensional objects from a digital file. It is an ideal technique for quickly creating prototypes because it is fast and inexpensive. Additionally, 3D printing allows designers to create complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to create using other methods.
CNC machining is a common method for making prototypes from metals and plastics. It involves using computer-controlled tools to remove material from a workpiece to create the desired shape. This method is accurate and repeatable, making it ideal for creating prototypes that will be used for testing or evaluation. Furthermore, this process is often used for advanced prototypes. One example of this process being useful is if you need to make an advanced prototype of something like an implantable orthopedic joint replacement.
Screw machining is a subtractive manufacturing process in which parts are created by removing material from a workpiece. This method is well-suited for prototypes because it is relatively quick and easy to set up and can produce complex geometries. Prototypes are typically made out of metal or plastics. They can be used as models for testing purposes and to demonstrate how products will look, feel, and function. They also help engineers determine whether they have designed products that meet customer needs. In this sense, screw machining is a viable way to show how connectors will look, feel, and function.
Photochemical machining uses chemical milling to machine away selected areas of sheet metal to make parts. This process is regularly used to create prototypes of medical devices because it is very precise and can create complex shapes. When photochemical machining is used, a part with desired geometry on paper (such as an implant) is coated with chemicals, usually by painting or spraying. The part is then exposed to ultraviolet light through a mask designed for the desired geometry, etching in areas where light has shone through the mask onto the surface.
Laser cutting creates prototypes quickly and efficiently. A computer-coded program directs a high-output laser to shape material (typically metal) to specific geometry. This process is great for creating small, intricate parts with high accuracy. Laser cutting is relatively fast and can be done on various materials. It’s also ideal for prototypes that require a smooth finish since it leaves very few burn marks or residue from the cutting process.
Medical Device Prototyping
Regarding medical devices, prototyping is crucial because it can help companies avoid recalling a product if a manufacturing defect occurs. The technique for medical device prototyping involves rapid modeling allowing an engineer or designer to quickly produce a prototype that can be tested in real-world conditions. Modeling simulation and virtual prototyping techniques provide fast and cost-effective ways of producing prototypes that do not need to be tested before manufacturing. Medical engineers work closely with manufacturers to create prototypes from design specifications, while electronics engineers work on creating electrical schematics and circuits as well as developing sensors and wiring harnesses.
DeviceLab provides medical device prototyping and pilot production. We are constantly innovating for a better life through some of the latest medical device development techniques. Contact DeviceLab today.