Case StudyDeveloping Medical Inspection Equipment

Medical PrototypeChallenging our Engineering Prowess

Midwest Mold was once again approached with a unique opportunity to assist our customer in developing a product used for the internal inspection of the human body. A very simple design turned into a miniature multifaceted product due in part to the tolerances not always associated with the production of plastic components. Our challenge was to build a mold and incorporate thin walled conditions along with walls being parallel to 1 arc-minute. Both the ID and OD surfaces of the angled walls required a precision finish of lambda/4 and a surface finish of SPI-A1 to minimize scatter, no bubbles or occlusions. The application allowed visible light to be passed through its side walls for illumination and at the same time record the information on a miniature camera. Tool construction was to be nothing short of a Swiss watch. The top of part didn’t require the same attention and we were allowed to gate on this surface. Although the 14mm diameter at the opening of the part required dimensional accuracy, the surface finish was only held to an SPI-A2 since imaging was not required. This was to allow a little bit of light that exited the transition zone between the ring and cone. Mechanical stops were also added to prevent the mating components from being inserted too far forward.

Midwest Mold’s Solution

With the finish and dimensional accuracy being the most critical build functions, machining applications not normally used in the automotive industry were implemented and a strategic plan was put together to finalize a hard steel prototype tool to meet all of the criteria as designed. Some suggestions were made for product alterations and some were granted. Material selection wasn’t a drop kick either. Midwest Mold was asked to help out on the material selection. Hours were spent researching a non-yellowing, non-hazing, non-fogging resin. After narrowing the field down to 4, a final selection was presented and accepted.

Midwest Mold’s Results

Two weeks from start to finish and we were running parts. First tryout parts were very acceptable to the customer and required no tune-ins. Even though the customer was extremely satisfied with those parts, Midwest Mold decided to run additional product after improving the A1 finish and ship to the customer for additional testing.

After testing was completed the reviews came in and there was nothing short of outstanding complements from doctors, engineers and other medical experts involved. It was reported to Midwest Mold through an email that “The Mission was a huge success” and individual’s involved departed with smiles!