Rapid Prototyping Techniques For Medical Devices

The development and production of many medical devices are dependent on prototypes. This includes anatomical models and larger pieces of equipment.

These are the top five rapid prototyping medical techniques that are most commonly used for creating prototypes in the medical field.

CNC Machining

CNC machining can be used to quickly produce functional prototypes. Five-axis CNC machining, which is state-of-the-art, can be used to produce prototypes with complicated geometries. You can work with many materials, including aluminum alloys and stainless steel, as well as hard thermoplastics.

rapid prototyping medical devices

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Clear Acrylic Polishing and Machining

Clear acrylic prototypes can be fabricated using CNC, followed by flame, vapor, or hand polishing. This produces highly visible prototypes. This technique is ideal for those who value clarity and precision. Clear acrylic machining can be used to create lenses and prisms for laser instrumentation, and other medical devices.

Aluminum Machining

Aluminum machining can be used to create prototypes. It has many advantages. Aluminum alloys can be machined to very tight tolerances. Polishing can also remove minor imperfections and refine the object further.

RIM (Reaction Injection Molding)

Reaction injection molding (RIM), produces lightweight prototypes that are strong and light with a high-density skin and a low-density center. RIM allows for more complex prototypes than traditional injection molding.

Vacuum Casting

For prototyping certain medical devices such as heart models and other organ models, vacuum casting can be used. The master mold is made from laser-etched silicon resin. An extra-soft resin is used for the production of the prototype.