Prototyping is one of the critical stages of medical device development, and the prototypes created need to justify the cost and time that’s invested in them. There are several prototyping methods, each with different costs. For instance, 3D printing is one of the most useful tools for prototyping, but it might be a little heavy on the pockets. However, no matter how tight your budget constraints are, you can never skip prototyping (in fact, it’s actually one way to help secure funding for your medical device project!).
What You Can Do
It’s essential to get your device’s look, feel, and perception right before it hits the market. Despite the many costs associated with developing a medical device, you might want to explore some low-cost methods that will help you get a good prototype on a budget and still launch a successful product.
Pick the Right Parts
Medical devices are usually made from highly specialized and costly parts. For instance, knee implants are manufactured using superalloys to avoid implant rejection and ensure the implant is durable. When making a prototype, however, there’s no need to use expensive parts. All you want to demonstrate is how the device will function. You can opt for off the shelf development kits instead of the more expensive custom designs you’ll actually need for the product.
On the other hand, if you’re making a functional medical prototype, you will need to use the same parts that should be used for the final product. In such a situation, the only cost-cutting you can do would be to acquire and use only the parts needed for the prototype to function.
Cut Costs with Design for Manufacture
If you want to reduce costs when manufacturing a prototype, it’s a good idea to outsource your design needs to manufacturing experts. Trying to leave the manufacturing tasks to the design engineers can lead to the design of parts that are not actually manufacturable. This is because there’s often a disconnect between what can function theoretically and what can be manufactured easily and cost-effectively.
Because of this, you’re more likely to save money and time when you partner with a company that can analyze your medical device design and provide manufacturability insights. It would really not be cost-effective to complete the design process with one team only to find out that the manufacturing process for the proposed design requires cost-prohibitive manufacturing technologies.
Hire a Prototyping Expert
The best way to come up with a proper prototype at a fraction of the cost would be to work with a prototyping expert. The more experienced your team, the more they can help. Those who have built many prototypes are most likely to know several ways to come up with the same prototype using different manufacturing methods and materials.
If you find a proper manufacturing facility (a medical device partner can help you choose one), they’ll be able to deliver your prototype based on your drawings. All of this can be done without fabrication flaws, and the prototype components will be machined to within the nearest micron.
Ready to Get Your Low-Cost Prototype?
Medical device development sure isn’t cheap, but the end result is certainly worth it. The impact your device can have and the profits that can be made make every part of the process worth it.
Still, we know how challenging it can be to come up with a low-cost prototype.
If you’re ready to move to the next step with a low-cost prototype, it’s important to partner with the right team. Don’t be limited by costs. Get prototyping support today from our team at C3 Medical Device Consulting and move a step further toward the completion of your project.
Contact us today to learn more!