Injection molding brings with it a number of advantages. One is scale; it’s easy to manufacture in volume, since plastic injection molding is easier than the casting and stamping methods often used with surgical steel. The raw materials are less expensive. Compliance is less onerous. The journey from concept to finished product is much faster.
Another consideration, given the rise of drug-resistant infections, is cleanliness. Traditional metal instruments must often be sterilized between uses, and a small slip-up or an instance of neglect can negatively affect patient outcomes and liability alike. Something as simple as a single-use scalpel can have an outsized impact.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also look ahead to what’s next in injection molding, especially as it relates to medicine. In many ways, the future isn’t as far off as it seems — and in some ways, it’s already here. We know this because our extensive work with startups reminds us on a near daily basis that the next innovation is often percolating in someone’s mind, just looking for the right processes, plastic prototyping, and tools to become a viable product.
Among the developments we’re keeping an eye on: