Kombination af 3D-print og sprøjtestøbning skærer måneder af udviklingstiden af medicokomponenter - her ses Navigraffs stræksensor, der er udviklet i samarbejde med Carmo

Combining 3D print and injection moulding cuts months of the development time of medical components

3D print to develop medical components is maturing rapidly. In short time, we have custom designed nine small plastic parts for the company Navigraff by combining 3D printing with injection moulding. The parts will become a crucial work tool for physiotherapists to ensure correct movement and increased health.

Carmo and Navigraff have cooperated on the process of the development of nine small plastic components by using 3D printing combined with injection moulding. Due to the special combination of the two technologies, the development of the plastic parts has been much faster than with a traditional development process.

– By combining 3D printing and injection moulding, we can cut months of the development time and keep costs down. This means that several years of development, adjustments, and testing will be done in a few months, where we adjust the parts continuously. This gives us an exceptional flexibility in the design stages, which gives us an extremely hybrid set-up that can be combined with the industrial production.

Tobias Kristensen, development engineer at Carmo

The product from Navigraff is a so-called stretch sensor, which is estimated to become an essential work tool for physiotherapists worldwide to gain an understanding of the movement of the foot. The stretch sensor from Navigraff has been developed to measure the movement of the feet. These data are usually difficult to collect, and something that require robust equipment when sitting on a foot through many types of movement.

– We experience that it is extremely difficult to examine the movements of the foot, when we perform natural movements, such as running in the woods or during contact sport. With the stretch sensor, you will be able to measure the foot’s movements and get valuable data that can be used directly in the treatment and prevention.

Frederik R. Jakobsen, partner in Navigraff

Customised solutions

Navigraff develops and sell health-enhancing articles. The company has developed the technology and software behind the stretch sensor. It has been a long development process with a failed attempt to complete the product with another partner. Therefore, it was crucial to find a manufacturer that could act quickly.

– We spent really long time and many resources on developing the technology, so it was a major setback for us when we failed the first time, because we couldn’t just find standard components. Therefore, it was crucial for us that Carmo could translate our ideas and requirements and were able to quickly design, develop and adjust the items.

Frederik R. Jakobsen, partner in Navigraff

Carmo injection moulds components for the medical industry as well as other industries that require high quality. However, the need for customised solutions has increased in recent years. Therefore, Carmo foresees a future where they will cooperate with customers to a much greater extent during the entire process: From design to development and on to production.

– The cooperation with Navigraff is exactly the type of cooperation that we expect to have more of in the future. When we combine injection moulding with 3D printing, we benefit from the low costs of 3D printing, and that we can adjust the product design along the way with fast printing. Thus, the close cooperation starting in the early design stages makes incredibly good sense.

Tobias Kristensen, development engineer at Carmo

Enormous steps in the development

The stretch sensor from Navigraff is a medical device, and consequently subject to major restrictions in relation to materials and production. Therefore, it was crucial to Navigraff that the parts were made in a material that is medically approved.

– In recent years, we have taken enormous steps in 3D printing, enabling us to be able to help manufacturers of medical equipment in the development of components for the medical industry. With 3D printing we get the fast iterations and the flexibility that is important in the early design stages. By combining 3D printing with injection moulding, we can manufacture the parts in materials that are medically approved, so that they are ready for testing. It is undoubtedly a game changer in the development and production for the medical industry, because it reduces the time-to-market significantly and cuts large expenses.

Tobias Kristensen, development engineer at Carmo

Want to know more?

Do you want to know more about, how we can cut months of the development time of your medical components? Fill out our contact form, then we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Author: Ole Eldar Andersen