Accelerating Innovation with Modo Rapid: A Medical Device Success Story

The quest to shorten design cycles and manufacture parts quickly led Alex and his team to Modo Rapid for prototyping and end-use parts.

Bridging Production Gaps with Rapid Silicone Rubber Tooling

Alex and his team reexamined the material used for their wearable medical device component and decided to manufacture it with liquid silicone rubber (LSR). An LSR part would naturally flex with the user’s motion and have the durability to last indefinitely. However, the challenge extended beyond identifying the proper material. They also needed a cost-efficient molding option optimized for the current stage of product development, as the design was not yet finalized.

The medical exoskeleton was still in the prototyping phase, and FDA approvals were pending, making a costly investment in traditional tooling impractical. Alex turned to Modo Rapid’s LSR molding process to quickly manufacture several components, allowing for design testing and the flexibility to iterate as necessary.

Alex highlighted that Modo Rapid’s fast-quoting team was key to accelerating the molding process. He and his team frequently sent parts for quotes and iterated several times until they reached their target cost. This enabled a highly iterative design process, reducing development costs as it could all be achieved without the need for manufacturing final parts immediately.

Rapid Quoting Saves Development Time

After receiving the molded LSR parts, Alex’s team tested the new design and found it had the flexibility and durability to withstand daily use. “We have been very pleased with the switch to a liquid silicone rubber part,” Alex said. “The light transmission is excellent, the visibility of the indicator to the user is excellent, and we have not had any durability issues since the change.”

Alex estimates that Modo Rapid’s molding service saved his team between one and two months by manufacturing the LSR parts within days. With tooling optimized for low-volume production, they could bridge the gap between early prototypes and final production.

“Internally, had we tried to make these parts ourselves, it would probably take a month due to bandwidth limitations,” said Alex.

But this redesign was more than just a product improvement developed in an R&D lab. Alex shared that this example is part of the company’s larger strategic effort to focus on customer service by listening to user feedback and implementing product improvements quickly.

“Our aim is to be as fast as possible. When we have new developments, part of our competitive advantage is speed. When we encounter issues in the field, our rapid response demonstrates our concern for our customers in a big way,” he explained.

Leveraging CNC Machining and 3D Printing

In addition to the molded LSR part, Alex’s engineers and designers relied heavily on Modo Rapid’s CNC machining and 3D printing capabilities throughout the development of the medical exoskeleton. For example, Alex notes that he had fixtures machined to secure components in place for ultrasonic welding. He also used 3D printing to build nylon prototypes through selective laser sintering before transitioning to injection molding.

On-Demand Manufacturing for Speed and Innovation

With on-demand manufacturing options at their disposal, Alex’s team has been able to reduce development time, bring innovative products to market faster, and effectively respond to customer feedback. Overall, including molded production parts, Alex estimates his team has manufactured thousands of components with Modo Rapid and will continue leveraging its digital manufacturing services for future generations of their medical devices.

Modo Rapid’s comprehensive manufacturing solutions, including rapid prototyping, CNC machining, and high-quality injection molding, have enabled Alex and his team to stay ahead in a competitive market while ensuring their products meet the highest standards of quality and performance.

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