Our client needed a new microfluidic consumable for a hand held diagnostic device. A presentation to a potential partner in the US had been arranged in just 3 weeks time!
We quickly identified what methods of production were feasible. In this case, laser cutting of sheet material and assembling a laminate, or injection moulding. Whilst lead times and part quality of the laser cut versions are attractive, the cost doesn’t drop greatly for larger production volumes.
We had previously worked with a UK rapid injection moulder, and knew they could deliver if we could get a fully detailed CAD model, designed for injection moulding, to them in less than 48 hours. Our client had assumed injection moulding was not feasible due to long lead-times in tooling, so was pleasantly surprised to hear they could order parts on a 5 day lead time.
Our client took delivery of their 2 part assembled consumable, moulded in production materials in less than 10 days from our initial meeting. Due to our detailed instruction of the toolmakers, it worked first time and the total cost was comparable to other methods of low volume prototyping. The tool could also be used for production of many thousands of parts as the project moved forward.