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Machine Design

Pain, Swelling, and Rapid Prototypes

Medical-technology company Ivivi Technologies, Northvale, N.J., uses rapid prototyping to develop noninvasive electrotherapeutic devices that treat pain and swelling by stimulating a patient’s anti-inflammatory response. An Objet Geometries’ Eden350 3D printer now quickly fabricates prototypes once provided by jobshops.

“Jobshops took months to get prototypes back to us,” says Ivivi’s Vice Chairman of the board Andre A. DiMino. “And the part, of course, usually needed several revisions to get it right for clinical trials. So we needed a faster method that would let us perform engineering, development, and production in-house.”

DiMino’s team selected the Eden350 because it prints lightweight, durable parts with smooth finishes. “We got a return on our investment in less than one year,” says DiMino. “The machine cuts an average of five to six weeks off production. And it lets designers make product changes overnight. The machine also provides a rapid, cost-efficient way to build custom production tools such as jigs and fixtures to hold the devices.”

Ivivi is now considering upgrading to Objet’s Connex50. It can simultaneously build with several materials, each with different mechanical and physical properties. DiMino says the machine should let the company further streamline production of devices consisting of rigid electronic casements and softer components for patient comfort.

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