Case Studies

See Vac

Injection moulding of dental device

The purpose of the device in question is to facilitate capabilities of a suction tool and a mirror tool within a single dental device. The desired manufacturing method was injection moulding, which required mould tool design and mould flow simulation, followed by a small-batch production to identify well performing injection parameters.

The mould tool is computationally modelled with manufacturability in mind. The insert plates can be easily removed and replaced within the bolster plates. This is a commonly employed workflow-streamlining approach found in many injection moulding facilities.

The mould tools are manufactured by a spark erosion process which incorporates the use of copper electrodes. The entire injection moulding pipeline is facilitated in-house: the electrodes are designed and CNC milled to the desired geometry, which are then used in the spark erosion process to manufacture the final mould plates.

"A huge "Thank You" for helping me last year with all the hard work you have put into doing the tooling for See Vac … I couldn't have got to this stage without the help of MDMC"

- Louise Kennedy (Founder)

Mould tool CAD model
Mould flow simulation
Final mould plates and electrodes

MR CoilTech

Laser cutting and 3D printing components for MRI scanner

MR Coiltech, working on the design and manufacturing of 7-Tesla MRI radio-frequency coils, required small-scale/one-off manufacture of certain sub-components which consisted of a phantom holder, used for validation tests, and mirror parts cut to specific geometries.

The phantom holder was manufactured by means of fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing. Printing with polycarbonate filament resulted in a part with properties such as low moisture retention, which is favourable for when implemented within an MRI machine.

The mirrors are manufactured from 3 mm thick acrylic sheets, which lended itself to laser cutting by means of a CO2 laser plotter. The adopted laser parameter set yielded a high tolerance finish with no discernable detriment to the mirror coating.

“We received excellent and timely support from MDMC"

- Shajan Gunamony (Director)

3D printed Phantom holder
Phantom holder assembly
Laser cut acrylic mirrors


3D printing of COVID-19 swabs

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Abergower 3D developed testing swabs which utilised a micro-fluidic structured tip which resulted in improved viral material collection compared to that of conventional cotton swabs.

The swabs were 3D printed in order to fabricate the complex geometry of the micro-fluidic structure. The common challenges associated with 3D printing (e.g., batch production, biocompatibility) were overcome by employing a resin-based 3D printer.

The MDMC undertook prototyping activities using the EnvisionOne 3D printer which demonstrated feasbility in printing hundreds of swabs per print cycle using biocompatible resin. When scaled, this then allowed Abergower to print up to 25,000 swabs per day.

“MDMC services [...] allowed Abergower to have confidence in going into the production of 3D swabs and enabling the company to CE marked the swabs as well as finding a route to sterilize them in Scotland. Without the MDMC and SMAS, it would have been difficult to achieve our technical milestones"

- Robin Prior (Managing Director)

EnvisionOne 3D printer
3D printed COVID swabs
Close-up of 3D printed swab tip


3D printing of micro-lenses for fiber optic applications

The purpose of this project was to determine the suitability of various lens designs for use with micron scale LEDs. The project involved the use of the Nanoscribe machine located at the MDMC, with capability to 3D print structures on the scale of 50 nm. Initially some quality control images were taken of electronic substrates using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).

Multiple different lens designs were printed, each improving on the last. These were very well received by Avicenatech who have proceeded to employ a master copy for larger scale fabrication using them as the negatives for making moulds.

“Access to the MDMC Nanoscribe has been invaluable in developing Avicena Tech’s in-house lensing process. […] The MDMC team have been very helpful and responsive throughout the project. "

- Rowan Pocock (Development Engineer)

SEM image of 3D printed lens with dia. ~40 µm
SEM image of 3D printed lens cluster
SEM image of complete lens array

Softcell Medical

Packaging solution for pH probe

Softcell Medical have developed a pH monitoring device whereby an adequate packaging solution is required which promotes brand-appropriate aesthetics in addition to suitable functionality. Functionality, in this instance, pertains to the simplicity of packing/unpacking of the probe and its ability to be contained within a peel pouch for sterilisation.

The design for manufacture process is kickstarted by first assessing the appropriate manufacturing method which bolsters the aformentioned criteria, along with an assessment of suitable materials for the product and its application.

After various iterations using different materials, 0.5 mm thick PETG sheets were laser cut using a CO2 laser plotter. A laser rastering routine was also incorporated to impart branding and labelling onto the packaging sheet.

“The quality of the concepts produced was fantastic and the level of engagement throughout the project was exceptionally high. The teams's technical ability was evident in the high quality of delivered product with a quick turnaround on any requested activity.
It is great to see Scotland have access to such a vast array of manufacturing and test equipment for the medical device sector. I would have no hesitation in recommending the quality of work undertaken by MDMC."

- Kirsty McIntosh (CEO)

Packaging sheet CAD drawing
Laser cut packaging sheet
Laser cut packaging sheet with probe

FlexMedical Solutions

Imaging of laser processed components

FlexMedical Solutions offer expertise in design, development, and manufacture for point of care (POC) diagnostic technologies. During the development of new processes, verification methods in the form of high magnification imaging of process outcomes were required.

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging activities were undertaken by the MDMC to address this. SEM machines excel at resolving features that are otherwise too small to be imaged by optical microscopes with feature size resolution smaller than the wavelength of visible light.

In this instance, SEM imaging was conducted on a variety of samples that were processed by different lasing methods and laser parameters, which yielded valuable, detailed data for Flexmedical Solutions to evaluate.

“I felt immediately at ease in regards to [MDMC] handling our samples and using [their] clearly vast knowledge in order to image the devices that I brought"

- Paul Hush (R&D scientist)

Scanning electron microscope
SEM image of laser cut component
SEM image of laser cut component

Intellipalp Dx

Prototyping prostate cancer diagnostic device 

Intellipalp Dx is a university spin-out company developing a diagnostic device which provides an objective means of examination for prostate cancer diagnosis and management.

Prototyping is a vital stage in the device development pipeline. The activities carried out for Intellipalp Dx consisted of 3D printing of a mould design for casting of the finger mounted soft probe component and 3D printing of the wrist-mounted units, both which incorporated an iterative design review for printing optimisation.

The 3D printing was undertaken by means of fused filament fabrication (FFF). This rapid prototyping method facilitated experimentation with different materials and enabled flexbility in the design-space to accomodate comparison between design iterations.

“Excellent service providing specialist manufacturing/prototyping which cannot be accessed easily outside the academic sector."

- Robert L Reuben (Founder, CTO)

3D printed mould for silicone casting
Device prototype
Image of device demonstration


Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) of Medical Microwave Device 

Emblation Ltd is an award-winning medical technology company, revolutionising the way microwave energy is used in healthcare. MDMC are supporting Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) of a next generation Emblation product. MDMC expose the device to different temperature, humidity, and mechanical profiles in excess of the usual operating conditions. This activity is to gather data such that any weaknesses can be identified and the design be improved to make the device more robust in the field.

The testing protocols undertaken consist of parameters which are expected to lead to device failure. These include, but are not limited to, exposing the device to temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C and mechanical shock with 30 G acceleration.

Climate, vibration, and mechanical shock testing protocols are undertaken, the results of which are compiled into a technical report and provided to Emblation Ltd.

“The service from the team at MDMC has been excellent. The team has been accommodating and helpful throughout the project from initial engagement through to development of the test parameters and support fixtures. The quick responsiveness of the team to get testing up and running against a tight timescale is much appreciated and the service is a great asset to the Scottish medical device sector."

- Neil McGonigle (Director of Engineering)

Binder MKF115 climate chamber
Sentek Dynamics shaker system
Temperature and humidity chart

Nami Surgical

Laser cutting of copper electrode components 

Nami Surgical is a spin-out technology company from the University of Glasgow that develops high-performance miniaturised ultrasonic scalpels for Robotic Assisted Surgery. The purpose of the device in question is to generate high-frequency harmonic motion of a metallic element which simultaneously cuts and coagulates soft tissue.

The electrodes are manufactured from 0.3 mm thick copper sheets, which lends itself to laser cutting by means of the Needham laser system. The laser parameters for cutting copper sheet were tuned over a series of trials to establish a suitable parameter set which yielded parts with a high tolerance clean cut.

“The work completed realizing our copper electrodes through laser cutting by [MDMC] was excellent and so appreciated."

- Rebecca Clearly (Technical Lead & Founder)

Batch of laser cut copper electrodes
Individual laser cut copper electrode
Needham laser system

Confidence Plus

Confiplus: A leak containment device for ostomates 

Confidence Plus commercialises the product ConfiPlus whose purpose is to contain leaks from stoma bags. The product contains an absorbent attachment to prevent soiling of clothing and bed sheets. This product is currently sold from business to customers and through a pharmacy group in Glasgow and a national online pharmacy. MDMC worked with Confidence Plus to provide the necessary information for the NHS to approve it so that it can be on the NHS tariff.

Confidence Plus Ltd was successful in getting a CPI grant to access £30K worth of Medical Devices regulatory expertise, the Company decided to use some of this funding to employ a Medical Device regulations expert to review the ConfiPlus Medical Device technical file.

A Health Technology Assessment report regarding ConfiPlus was carried out in collaboration with the NHS improvement team using the META-Tool. Confidence Plus is the first Scottish SME that used this software tool licensed from NICE.

“Working with MDMC has been extremely beneficial to confidence Plus. As a company with no MedTech background, the support and advice provided has been invaluable. Speaking to experts can be daunting when you don’t have a background in their field, however, Marc would come on calls with me to guide me and this has enabled me to grow in confidence dealing with the industry. I can state categorically, had it not been for the support of the MDMC, our product would not be available to as many as it currently is and we would not have the contacts we now have to take the next steps."

- Lisa Crombie (Co-Founder/Managing Director)

Image of newspaper article
Image of leak containment product, Confiplus