Designers at Boston Medical Products create casted models of innovative medical tools without the time and money of machined molds.
Westborough, MA óOrganic shapes are notoriously hard to make with a standard solid modeling system. While cell phones, cars, and computers are square and geometric, objects like toys and running shoes often spell overtime for a 3D CAD user.
So Boston Medical Products Inc. has taken on a tough challenge-modeling the contours of the human anatomy. The company collects sketches and suggestions from surgeons, and creates innovative medical tools, including tracheostomy tubes, nasal splints, laryngeal stents, and balloon catheters.
Until now, the company has made complex molds to create these intricate shapes. But two years ago, they moved to the CADKEY 3D mechanical CAD system (CADKEY Corp., Marlborough, MA), primarily for its data export capability for rapid prototyping.
"We can make a highly accurate molded prototype by reversing a CADKEY solid model, rapid prototyping a plastic mold, and then using the prototype plastic mold to make a sintered tool," says Boston Medical engineer Andrew Marsella.
The method reduces costs and lead times by about a third, he says.