Guide to Cost-Saving Tips of Medical Device Prototyping
The medical industry is always ahead in terms of engineering capabilities. Parts made range from advanced implants that use biocompatible material to prostheses that interact with the nervous system. This capability is only made possible with rigorous prototyping, design, and testing routines. However, due to the high stakes nature of medical technology, it is important to thus eliminate any possible flaw. It may result in a life-threatening situation. This directly increases cost since it needs rigorous prototyping and testing to achieve. Thus, there is a need to find a solution to reducing the cost of medical device prototyping.
The Tips to Follow For Parties In Medical Device Prototyping
Select The Right Material
At Creatingway, we make medical devices from a biocompatible material. This prevents the development of allergic reactions to the material. For instance, a knee implant uses superalloys. The material used first should not be rejected by the body. Second, it should be durable enough to last the device’s intended lifetime. Thus, the selection of the right material during each phase is important. Prototypes made to prove a concept can use cheap, materials like aluminum or plastic. Functional prototypes, however, need to use the same material as the final product. This allows accurate comparison in usability, performance, and manufacturing parameters to that of the final product. Materials used include titanium alloy, stainless steel, and NiTi SMA.
Selecting The Right Manufacturing Technology
Prototyping relies on complex assemblies to make sub-components. Thus, in manufacturing the parts, it uses a wide range of technologies. The parts should function for testing purposes. The methods used include:
- Sheet metal fabrication – sheet metal components are durable and cheap. They also come in a range of coatings and surface finishes.
- CNC machining – CNC machines offer a fast turnaround that is precise. The process is compatible with a variety of materials.
- Injection molding – the process has the best production rate to per part cost ratio. However, tooling is costly and needs great care to limit defects.
- Plastic 3D printing – printing parts allows the manufacture of complex geometrics. Also, making internal cavities and features that would have been impossible using other processes.
Keeping a range of machines is not financially feasible. They should not manufacture porotypes once only. Running the machines continuously saves money. It is thus wise to outsource services from other companies. Having too many machines lying around cost money instead of saving. Also having the machines available allows flexibility in manufacturing. You do not have to rely on one process to get the desire results.
Using DFM to lower cost for medical devices
There exists a disconnect between the actual manufacturing of parts and theoretical effectiveness. Design engineers find it difficult to stay updated in both manufacturing technology and their area of expertise. The disconnect results in parts that may meet end-user requirements. However, it may be difficult to manufacture. The steps of designing include concept design, product design up to design validation. These steps need to be followed. Proper use of a DFM ensures efficient manufacturing of medical devices. This will, in turn, lower medical device prototyping manufacturing costs. Outsourcing DFM analysis will guarantee efficiency in making parts. look for a great partner with expertise in analyzing designs. Getting insights into manufacturing saves on cost. It is a bad idea that halfway through a process you realize it is impossible to make.
Eliminating Feature Creep
Feature creep means adding items to a device that do not increase value to it. Creep comes in two forms. There is creep to increase device functions. Also, there is a creep that adds aesthetics due to complexity. Elimination of creep needs the guidance of an experienced fabrication partner. It will avoid the removal of added benefits needed for user functionality. The partner can tell which parts add disproportionate. This will, in turn, make the medical design more affordable. Some of the features considered include:
- Surface finishes – mirror finishes and highly polished surfaces make good cleaning surfaces on medical devices. However, not every medical device needs this. The operation of polishing is costly. Getting a class-A surface finish still makes the part to be functional. It is also less costly compared to mirror polishing.
- Tolerances – making parts fit together sounds like a great aesthetic feature. The device achieves part lines that are invisible. However, it does not serve any functional purpose. This increases manufacturing costs in design parts with excessive tolerance needs. Thus, only limiting tolerances to specific areas of lowers cost. They should also justify engineering necessities.
Get an Expert Prototyping Partner
The easiest way to lower cost. Getting an efficient manufacturing partner is a way to go. Especially a partner with experience in the medical device prototyping field. Most companies have the capabilities of manufacturing a part based on drawings. At Creatingway, we strive to match specifications to the last detail. Thus, fewer fabrication flaws result. Tolerances within the nearest micron are achievable. With years of experience, we can find creative ways of reducing manufacturing complexity. Contact Creatingway now for your medical device prototyping needs.
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