Isometric recently appeared in a feature article written by Michael Barbella, Managing Editor for Medical Product Outsourcing (MPO), entitled Medical Device Micromolders Discuss the ‘Minor Details.’ In the article, Michael discusses how micromolding can effectively produce small components with complex features and geometries. He interviewed experts from several micromolding companies for insights to better understand the market forces shaping the micromolding sector. Isometric CEO, Donna Bibber, and Brent Hahn, VP of Business Development & Strategy took part in the discussion.
Michael asked about trends driving innovation in micromolding, and how micromolding companies are responding to these trends.
Donna Bibber commented that for Isometric, trends we are seeing include a greater need for long and thin components and assemblies such as high aspect ratio cannulas, sheaths, and catheter tips. These components are getting more sophisticated with smart sensors and electromechanical functionality being added to them, requiring even thinner walls and precise sensor placement.
Brent Hahn went on to explain, “Micro molding parts with wall thicknesses of 0.001” seemed nearly impossible just a few years ago. With miniaturization becoming more prevalent in medical devices and other high precision industries, micro molding high aspect ratio up to 400:1 creating incredibly thin wall parts and feature sizes down to 3 microns are now possible. For example, a 0.007” wall thickness PEEK stent was originally deemed impossible by resin experts who recommended nothing less than 0.020” thick. Molding 3-micron needle sharps without flash is also pushing the boundaries of material behavior at the micro scale. The proof lies in Isometric’s internally developed micro tensile bars of 0.001” (25 microns) to 0.015” (375 microns) part thickness and two gate types to determine the ability to fill, actual shrink rates, and gate vestige.”