Guide to Saving Cost on Medical Device Prototyping
Medical device creation is a tedious and time-consuming process. The time to market for typical medical devices ranges between three to seven years. Though this may seem shorter than for other medical products, the design stage must account for an array of variables. Notably, product teams have to build devices that are safe for use. If they happen to fail, then they may introduce new threats to the patient’s health. In addition, we must make medical devices using biocompatible materials. They must also achieve ongoing compliance with all applicable regulations. At Creatingway, we strive to balance stakeholder demands and unique project demands. However, owing to the complexity of medical device designs, it may be tricky to juggle these priorities. We may thus need several tries at prototyping before we obtain the perfect solution. Here is an extensive insight into how we cut costs on medical device prototyping.
What Do We Consider Regarding the Cost of Medical Device Prototyping?
The medical device prototyping process can get quite costly in an already cost-intensive field. Most regulatory bodies classify medical devices according to the amount of risk they pose. Therefore, high-risk devices are likely to have more regulations, approval pathways, and inspection standards. All these protocols add to the cost of the development. Even after giving a round figure to the process, we are still unable to account for the device complexity.
It is vital to find a way to optimize the cost even after putting resources into modeling, development, and redesigns. Since there is a lot of money on the line, we try to get the most out of each round of prototyping. This is a vital part of economically obtaining a top-notch and high-performing product. Luckily, there are a few simple ways of making medical device prototyping much cost-effective.
Matching Material Selection with the Prototyping Stage
The end-use and performance needs are the key drivers in the material for any given part. Medical device prototype parts are not any different. Devices such as pacemakers, joint replacements, and implants need to be sturdy and bio-compatible. This allows them to last the duration of the device’s expected life cycle. Luckily, we do not have to make every prototype model from the end-use materials. Since this is in most instances they are quite costly. For instance, in the case of proof-of-concept materials, we only need to provide a simple, physical prototype of the device. Often, we can make them from affordable materials like plastic resin and aluminum. Functional prototypes aim to showcase how the part meets desired performance. They also show the manufacturability parameters and usability of the end-use product.
Matching the Correct Manufacturing Technology
Most medical devices are complex assemblies with intricate parts and an array of advanced materials. We sometimes need several manufacturing methods to produce them. We strive to ensure proper alignment of the specific production processes, with the stage of prototyping. This helps us improve the efficiency of the process as well as lower production costs.
For example, the medical device prototyping using CNC machining allows for short lead times, precise parts, and few material compatible issues. Meanwhile, prototyping with 3D printing allows for the creation of plastic parts with delicate features and internal cavities. This may have been tasking to achieve through other processes. Another pro of additive manufacturing is that it needs less set-up and tooling. In CNC machining for instance, once we have the CAD file, we can begin printing.
Keeping an array of manufacturing machines raw materials and tooling is rarely cost-effective. Luckily, outsourcing your prototyping with us helps you avoid high overhead costs. Testing which method produces the best result also becomes way cheaper.
Plan with the Design for Manufacture Principles in Mind
Design for manufacture refers to a framework that focuses on making parts simple to assemble. By streamlining our part designs, we achieve desired performance features while remaining with a feasible product. It also aids in lowering the production as well as prototyping costs. At this point, we recommend outsourcing with an expert prototyping company like us. Our product teams designing medical devices strive to ensure the complex part functions as needed. We can analyze part designs and provide tips for fine-tuning its design for manufacturability. This is vital to preventing costly redesigns down the line.
Stopping Feature Creep
Feature refers to including capabilities or features beyond the core design needs into a part’s design. Extra features are often tempting as adding them may be trivial at times. However, production complexity added features, and aesthetic consideration all increase production costs. The two most significant contributors are surface finishes and tight tolerances. Very tight tolerances are appealing for aesthetic reasons but come at higher costs. If they are necessary, we only apply them to the specific features that need them and not the entire part. Some medical parts need surface finishes like a high polish and mirror finish for cleanliness purposes. Most medical tools remain function with the need for a high-quality finish. We thus limit this feature unless it is necessary. Contact us now for top-notch medical device prototyping.
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