The silicone mold replicas in the medical sector

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Rapid product development is one of Coesum’s strengths and the medical sector is one of the driving sectors. Coesum helps you to quickly produce products to market through various services: additive 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding and silicone mold replicas.

Thanks to the possibility of using multiple technologies, even in parallel, we are able to reduce the final production times of plastic parts. In fact, parts can be produced with injection molding in 15-20 days, compared to the traditional method which goes from 4 to 12 weeks: a significant reduction in the product development cycle.

Based on our experience, the medical sector obtains enormous benefits in particular from silicone mold replicas, an excellent tool for managing just-in-time production with a high degree of customization. Producing parts and components through digital and automatic processes guarantees a reduction in cost and complexity in the management of the relationship between buyer and supplier, this means that a supply chain can be generated that is able to respond effectively and quickly to every request.

Why use digital manufacturing in the medical field?

There are several reasons to prefer digital manufacturing:

  • Interactive design analysis,
  • Low production volume,
  • The use of “agnostic” technology,
  • Bridge tooling, before production
  • Rapid prototyping and parts manufacturing.

In particular, silicone printing is a technology that allows the production of pre-series of small objects with aesthetic characteristics and dimensional precision similar to those of the finished product and with a high degree of customization. The difference lies in the production times which are reduced to just 10 days to obtain the first prototypes from silicone mold.

We propose a case study on silicone mold replicas, related to the Aferetica Srl project. This is an innovative Start-up specialized in apheretic blood purification therapies that needed to conduct functional tests on a new medical equipment for the ex vivo perfusion of organs, kidney and liver taken and intended for transplantation.

After identifying the silicone mold replicas as the most suitable technology for the production of the first pre-series of organ containers, kidney or liver, to whose perfusion the PerLife ™ system is dedicated, the real production process was started. . Aferetica was able to carry out the development of the different phases of the project with the technologies proposed by us, arriving at the presentation of the system to the medical-scientific community, first at national level, during the National Congress of the Italian Society of Organ Transplantation (November 2017) and subsequently, globally during the 27th Congress of the International Society of Organ Transplantation (July 2018). To read the complete case click here

Which material is most suitable for medical use?

In the medical sector there is a very wide variety of usable materials. This depends on the requirements and uses, our technicians will be able to recommend the most suitable material or conduct specific research on the reference market.

The materials used for the silicone mold replicas are all suitable for use in the medical sector, in particular the PX2017 and PX 280 can represent the ideal solutions.

The first is a polyurethane used for prototypes and pre-series in rigid material, similar to ABS, particularly suitable for the production of technical parts and prototypes with mechanical properties very similar to those of thermoplastics. They have good resistance to impact and bending with resistance to temperatures up to 120° C.

The PX280 is also a polyurethane used for prototypes and pre-series in rigid material, particularly suitable for the production of technical parts and prototypes where food certification is required. It complies with the 2007/19 / EC directive relating to contact with foodstuffs, the FDA regulation 21 CFR 177.2600 for repeated use and with the 2002/72 / EC directive. It also has good resistance to impact, bending and thermal resistance up to 80° C.

What are the benefits in the early stages of the project?

Working on a project to immediately use the digital tools of design, simulation, analysis and then production generates a series of important advantages:

  • Reduce labor efforts by increasing yield
  • Eliminate secondary operations
  • Increase the performance of the parts
  • Optimize the supply chain
  • Unlock new income resources or customer base

In the medical field, a company’s response times must necessarily be rapid to satisfy the primary health and wellness needs, therefore having a smart and digital approach both with design and production tools becomes almost an obligatory step to be competitive on the market.

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