by Ryan Hall and Scott Baird, Starlim North America, and Leopold Pühringer, Starlim Spritzguss GmbH
The successful design of medical device components is increasingly dependent on simulations based on finite element analysis (FEA). Simulations provide a rapid and cost-effective way to determine optimal construction of multi-component systems, as well as information on how components interact with each other during use. Investing in accurate, early design simulations can provide significant resource savings by decreasing the amount of iterative loops necessary in the prototype process to validate the overall device design for FDA or other governing body approvals.
Over the past 12 months, the demands on device designers have increased, given the necessity for the rapid development of diagnostic tools and a vaccine discovery for SARS-CoV-2. The healthcare device design workspace has also seen changes with the push to decrease the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by shifting to a work from home model for portions of 2020 and 2021. This has facilitated even greater dependence on techniques like design simulations which do not require physical presence at a common workspace.