Nidek accelerates clinical trial evaluations with 3D printing

Producer of surgical eye equipment Nidek has announced that it has accelerated clinical trial evaluations of its ophthalmological devices by using a 3D printer by 3D printing manufacturer Stratasys.

Nidek has used Stratasys’ Objet500 Connex3 Multi-material, Colour 3D Printer to accelerate the trial evaluations and has announced a 75% reduction in prototyping costs and has cut lead times by 50% compared to its previous methods.

Nidek state that the adoption of multi-material 3D printing is transforming the division’s process. The team is able to use advanced 3D printed materials to produce parts that directly replicate the final components. The prototype parts can then be comprehensively evaluated and speed up time-to-market. Prototypes must precisely replicate the final product to ensure those that have direct contact with patients are safe.

Cesare Tanassi, managing director at Nidek said: “Our prototyping process has become much more accurate and streamlined since incorporating Stratasys 3D printing into our workflow. Previously we were constrained by the prototyping restrictions associated with traditional methods. This proved costly in terms of lead-times and capital, particularly with moulds and CNC machining. We found that we had limited flexibility over our prototypes and, should iterations be required, this resulted in escalating costs.

“3D printing overcomes these bottlenecks by permitting us to quickly validate designs before entering our prototypes into clinical trial validation. As you can imagine, fully verifying our products is crucial to ensuring that premium quality is maintained”.

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