Product design in the medical field according to the logic of Design Thinking

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An innovative design for aesthetics and functionality, vehicle of a unique brand in the medical field.

The focus of the project was the aesthetic innovation of the HemoWeld handpiece. It is a line of radiofrequency benchtop welders for plastic pipes used for transfusion medicine.

The original object was a sheet metal product designed according to the logic of carpentry and laser cutting.

original product rendering

The process of developing a new product always begins with the collection of specifications.

This phase is fundamental for our department and has the purpose of starting a study that is completely integrated with the functioning of the product following the logic of Design Thinking.

The initial need was to give greater ergonomics to the soldering handpiece to facilitate its usability, while maintaining operation and all internal components unchanged.

The use of plastic material is allowed, which is essential for developing a flexible and at the same time innovative design.

A critical phase in the use of the device was welding: at that moment the operator is exposed to the risk of contact with blood, so it was necessary to design an accessory to solve this problem.

Design proposals

One of our cornerstones in the study of a new product or in the restyling of an existing equipment is to guarantee a variety of solutions.

The aim is to have more perspectives and to stimulate an integrated solution.

Our designer, Arch. Giovanni Annese has developed 3 different ergonomic proposals, strictly respecting the shared specifications on the dimensions and functionality of the device.

All the proposals already contain in the design phase a pre-feasibility study on the possible production processes that will be used in industrialization.

This is a significant added value of all the projects that are developed internally: our product development department experiences the production criticalities of rapid prototyping and mass production processes on a daily basis.

All this allows us to create innovative but at the same time producible projects, with costs appropriate to the project.

Solution 1

The peculiarities of this proposal are the simple geometries, the fixing element on the bracket anchored on the side, and the rubber insert on the rear of the handle to improve grip and facilitate the operator during welding operations.

Solution 2

In this version there is always a rubber insert in the lower area for a better grip of the device, the geometry of the upper part allows the welder to be positioned on a support.

Solution 3

In this solution, the geometries are curved, the gripping lever for welding is shaped in such a way as to allow greater grip ergonomics and a rubber insert is provided on the upper part of the device.

All the proposals contain a very important accessory part that gives an added value to the device: the Splash Guard positioned on the tip, specially designed to be produced in transparent. Transparency allows the operator to visually monitor the welding operation while remaining protected from any splashes.

This new component has also been the subject of functional tests; thanks to rapid prototyping, we were able to perform operational and assembly tests before starting the definitive engineering and industrialization steps.

Analysis of proposals, project reviews, ergonomic and functional tests on prototypes up to the final version

After a careful analysis of the project, the choice was a mix between solution 1 and solution 3: a single roof cover characterized by curved lines.

On the upper area we have inserted a delimited and recognizable area: the idea was to be able to produce this area with a different embossed finish to make the area rougher and facilitate grip.

After the first stereolithography prototypes we produced a first series using silicone mold replicas.

This step made it possible to have 25 “Cover and lever cover” kits to assemble a first batch and carry out welding tests. Thanks to these tests, we arrived at the latest revision of the project.

The object is characterized by a single cover cover, reduced dimensions and a slight reduction towards the bottom. The lever cover ensures a soft closing of the operator, the logo is clearly visible in the side area of the body.

Definitive product

Engineering and industrialization for mass production

The choice of the final version made it possible to start the engineering phase.

This allows you to get to the 3d files defined for the individual components of the product. Every detail is designed according to the chosen production process, in this case injection molding. We define the thicknesses and couplings to allow perfect assembly with the internal components and electronics.

structural analysis

3D files allow you to start mold design according to specifications, cold runner on the piece, mold life guaranteed for 50,000 cycles, cooling system. Before starting production it is useful to carry out tests and filling simulations to validate the injection point and the correct filling of the cavities.

Once the mold was made, we delivered a first sample batch for dimensional control and mold acceptance.

Once the first shot was validated, we started the final production by injection molding.

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