When a medical instrument company approached David Funnell, president of Funnell Instruments, Ltd. (Uxbridge, MA), about designing a less expensive method for manufacturing biopsy-sampling jaws, he knew what he needed to do. "One of the major weaknesses of the typical bowel-biopsy forceps is the narrowness of the hinge portion of the jaw," Funnell says. So Funnell broadened the hinge base. In minimally invasive abdominal surgeries, it is often necessary to grasp tissue—to pinch, but not to pinch too hard. Long-jawed instruments typically develop crosswise looseness at the tips that can potentially create a perforation hazard. To eliminate this problem, Funnell designed the Haploid™ Jaw, his stamped biopsy-sampling instrument, with an alternate-overlapping cutting pattern. He made the device from stamped corrosion resistant 300-series stainless steel. "Other instruments use 400-series material that frequently develops porosities," says Funnell. He knew from the outset that he would use metal forming to help lower the costs. "I've been fascinated by the materials-savings by the automotive industry by moving from a combination of forging and metal-removal to that of metal forming," he says. "I believe the Haploid Jaw will outperform all other designs on a dollars-per-specimen comparison." For more information, contact Funnell at (800) 809-9833.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.