November 26, 2019
UVision360 was able to bring the LUMINELLE hysteroscopy diagnostic scope to market in less than two years thanks to Protolabs’ 3D printing services. Image courtesy of Protolabs.
3D Printing Accelerates Medical Device Launch
UVision360 saved $250,000 and months of development time using Protolabs’ 3D printing services and MicroFine resin.
Developing and marketing new medical devices can involve lengthy regulatory and certification processes. That’s why companies in this space are always on the lookout for a way to shorten the development cycle, which can get the product to market faster.
In a case study published on the company website titled “3D Printing Creates Big Innovation from Tiny Parts for Medtech Firm,” Protolabs describes how UVision360 Inc., a medical device startup, was able to accelerate product development by leveraging Protolabs’ 3D printing solutions.
UVision360 was founded to improve diagnostic and therapeutic hysteroscopy and cystoscopy procedures using its LUMINELLE DTx Hysteroscopy System. The system includes a flexible, 2.0 mm hysteroscope designed with the latest CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) micro-technology—the same kind of image sensors that allow smartphones to capture high-definition pictures. This reusable scope is coupled with a variety of attachments that fit over the scope, allowing physicians to perform a range of procedures and facilitating a 360-degree view of the anatomic space. The system is less expensive than traditional endoscopic instruments, and can allow doctors to perform more procedures in their offices.
Prototyping the solution proved challenging because of the micro-sized scale of some features in the plastic attachments for the 2-mm device. Traditionally, a company such as UVision360 would have had to build stainless steel tools for injection molding the complex parts. However, that process would have added several months to the prototyping process.
The company turned to Protolabs’ micro-resolution SLA 3D printing process and MicroFine Green thermoset resin to build parts in 0.00-in. layers.
“As a startup we have to make much tougher decisions on where to spend the money because we don’t have unlimited funds,” says Erich Dreyer, chief technology officer for UVision360. “So what we have to do is find cost-effective yet time-effective solutions that don’t affect quality or performance.”
The company finalized designs of several dozen parts using Protolabs and saved roughly $250,000 in tooling revisions and modifications. In addition, the product was able to launch less than two years after design began.
Check out the Protolabs case study and details about the SLA p3D printing services here. The case study is available without registration.
In a Nutshell: “3D Printing Creates Big Innovation from Tiny Parts for Medtech Firm”
Case study outlines how a medical device startup was able to quickly and cost-effectively prototype very small parts using Protolabs’ 3D printing services.
The company used Protolabs’ micro-resolution SLA 3D printing process and MicroFine Green thermoset resin to build parts in 0.001-in. layers.
This process was faster and less expensive than building hardened stainless steel tools for injection molding the complex parts, which included micro-sized features.
Rapid manufacturing from Protolabs helped UVision360 accelerate design iterations, confirm the validity of the design, launch the system to market in less than two years and reduce costs.
Abby Christensen, [email protected]