Owlstone Medical: Contributing to saving lives

Owlstone Medical’s mission is to ‘save 100,000 lives and $1.5B in healthcare costs by advancing early detection and precision medicine’.

Aware that our prototypes support world-class design consultancies, the Cambridge-based company approached us to make an Ultra Faims instrument and the Reciva product.

First, we grew the Ultra Faims instrument master model on the SLA 3D printer and finished the A surfaces to a replicated spark an injection-moulded finish. We then created a silicone rubber tooling and made the productions from the tool in a fire-rated self-coloured ABS copy PU resin. The moulding casework parts were cast in a vacuum casting machine that gave perfect results, mimicking an injection-moulded component with surface texture.

The Reciva (a breath analyser) was made the same way as the Ultra Faims product. However, product requirements and the need to avoid particle contamination meant that painting was not permissible. The self-coloured vac-castings met these exacting requirements perfectly. Both product ranges have threaded brass inserts moulded into the product to assemble internal components and adjoining case works. The PU resin case parts are resistant to all the chemicals used to clean a medical device of this type.

For Owlstone, the vacuum casting process was the perfect result. It produced low-volume manufacturing quantities of 20-30, thus bridging the gap between the needs of clinical trials and higher-volume manufacture. The product was manufactured to a ‘Standard Operating System’ and delivered with a ‘Certificate of Conformity’.