articulation gears for surgical staplers that are
produced to net shape from 17-4 PH stainless
steel. Other applications include a base plate
for implantable infusion pumps, surgical
instruments, and knee and other orthopedic
MIM uses fine metal powders (typically less
than 20 micrometers) that are custom formulated with a binder (various thermoplastics
and other materials) into feedstock pellets.
These pellets are then fed into a hopper on
an MIM press, which is nearly identical to a
standard plastic injection molding press.
Inside the press, pellets are heated using
electric heaters and screw motion, and
the feedstock is injected into a tool. After
solidification, the parts (referred to as green
parts before debinding and sintering) are
ejected from the press, de-gated, and placed
on ceramic substrates, or setters. The setters
help the parts retain their shape during the
debinding and sintering process.
Next, the green parts are loaded into a
Automated Quote System
The MIM sourcing process begins when a product designer requests a quote using
Proto Labs’ proprietary automated interactive quote system, and uploads a 3D model in
AutoCAD, IGES, ProE, Solid Works, STEP, or similar file format. The system speeds the
process by providing real-time pricing within four to 24 hours based on material, sample
quantities, and lead time.
In addition, the quote system also provides moldability analysis that supports good design
by identifying potential design difficulties/concerns. For those needing assistance in modeling
their part in 3D, Proto Labs can refer them to a product designer.
With ultra-fast turnaround and low minimum quantities, Proto Labs is helping the medical
device industry reduce the product development timeframe, and bring innovative new products to market faster and at lower cost compared to traditional parts fabrication processes.
In the sintering furnace, brown parts are
heated to an extremely high temperature of
approximately 1,400 degrees Celsius to
achieve fully dense, net-shape metal parts.
• Implantable Devices and
Instrumentation for the
Medical Product Industry
• One Source, One Location
• Product Design Assist
• Feasibility Studies
• Validation Requirements
• ISO 9001-2008 and
ISO 13485-2003 Certified
• FDA Compliant
Today’s ideas for bettering human life are nothing
short of miraculous. We should know, we’ve been
growing with this industry since 1995. From initial
concept to final completion, we’re the partner you
need to get your medical products to market. Call
today and let’s discuss your next remarkable idea.
A LOT OF OUR PROJECTS START AFTER HOURS.
MIM enables the
production of microsize
parts and intricate medical
components with features
such as threads or undercuts that are not possible