Developing working prototypes is a crucial part of the medical product manufacturing process. Designing, developing and manufacturing a medical device can be complex, and medical device prototyping is fundamental.

It is therefore essential to work with a medical device development team that has prototyping capabilities.

Having early samples of your medical product provides you with the opportunity to test and evaluate the concept and work on future iterations without the need for investing in expensive production tools. Mi3 can help you test and validate your prototypes, helping you to accelerate the process of turning your innovative idea into a market-ready product through a realistic development and scaling plan.

Prototype production

There are often two main stages in the prototyping process: the first is your first medical device prototype production based on initial design drawings and specifications. This prototype is crucial to get a better understanding of the look and feel of the device and how it will work. This is an essential part of the medical device design process and is used to improve and enhance the design.

Testing and evaluation

The second stage is the final prototype at the end of the design process – this often also involves manufacturing a small batch of the prototype medical device to be used for testing and evaluation. This prototype can also be validated and compliant with regulations.

3D printing

With the advancements of CAD renderings and virtual reality simulations in medical design and development process, there is still no better way to initially assess a design than to have it in your hands.

Since its conception in the 1980’s 3D printing has now been utilised across many different industries for multiple applications. The key to knowing when to use 3D printing is understanding which 3D printing method is most beneficial for your application. Mi3 have the experience to understand the technicalities of 3D printing prototypes and / or finished products and understand the benefit of not only providing a printed component, but a full package of knowledge around utilising this technology. This makes us ideally suited to being the partner of choice to advise our customers on the best 3D printing methods available and their suitability to their specific applications.

Working with your initial concept design or bespoke product specifications the experienced design team at Mi3 will produce your medical device prototypes normally via 3D printing techniques on our in house 3D printing machines.

3D printing for medical devices is typically associated with the design development stages and is often also referred to as additive manufacturing.

At Mi3 we understand the critical differences between a prototype and the finished device and will advise you on the steps required and physical differences to consider when printing prototypes compared to your final product.

What is 3D printing?

Medical 3D printing is a process that creates a three dimensional version of your product by building successive layers of raw materials. Each new layer is attached to the previous one until the product is complete. The products are produced from a digital 3D CAD drawing.

3D printing your prototype

3D medical printing is now also advanced enough to produce finished goods, although due to the production times for 3D printing, it is typically only suitable for low volume (~50 Units Max) production. Mi3 offers 3D printing of medical devices for prototyping or low volume manufacturing runs.

For more information speak to our experts about our 3D printing services