Rapid prototyping and CNC go hand-in-hand. The level of precision that CNC provides combined with the ability to rapidly fabricate units before production are changing industries across the board. Earlier, we brought you the story of the low cost bicycle shifter that is changing the relationship that low-income and under-developed areas have with transportation. Today we look at the opposite end of the spectrum.
A heart attack and the subsequent damage of such an event used to mean bypass, possible damage to other organs, months in the hospital, and years of recovery. Treatment was largely reactive – given only after a major cardiac event. But what if the heart could be given an opportunity to rest and heal itself before such an event became inevitable?
That’s the story over at OnlineTMD in their profile of Aortix – a small device, implanted via catheter, made specifically to provide an alternative to the months and years of pain and recovery that heart failure or heart attack can bring. It is incredibly small and takes about ten minutes to implant during an outpatient surgical procedure. Months of time spent laying in a hospital bed after undergoing a serious and lengthy surgery have been reduced to a procedure that takes less time than a trip to the grocery store.
Aortix is also special because of how it was developed. Procyrion, the creators of Aortix, is an extremely agile group. Idea development happens in rapid-fire sessions where one person’s thought might change an entire product’s design. Rapid prototyping allows them to go from the birth of the initial thought to being hands-on with a physical prototype within a week.
Rapid prototyping also allows the team to quickly create multiple test parts for a given project in a cost-effective manner. While cost or time to production may have previously impacted design ideas or changes to a design to make it more effective, the low cost and low turnaround time of rapid prototyping reduces these concerns almost to the point of irrelevance. The group can now focus on getting the best product possible out of their design choices rather than being forced to settle based on budget constraints.
Computers have made access to the world’s information nearly instantaneous. Research that took months can now be completed in hours. And now, through developments in rapid prototyping, these changes are occurring in the physical world as well. Ideas can go from nothing more than a twinkle in someone’s eye to full physical manifestation faster than ever before.
The amount of advancement and change in rapid prototyping is already changing people’s lives. The coming years will be no less exciting.