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Manchester Met University.

In December 2010 Fripp Design and Research agreed a collaborative project with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop a solution to a global healthcare production problem.

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The product is a common medical device that is expensive to manufacture due to the high labour content required in its production, meaning production is undertaken overseas. Would it be possible to introduce the latest additive manufacturing techniques to eliminate the labour content altogether resulting in a lower unit cost and a higher consistency in the quality of the product produced (and bring the manufacturing back to the UK)?
Due to reasons of commercial and patient confidentiality specific information on this project cannot be divulged; however the role that Fripp Design and Research plays in the project is pivotal as the technology and industrial partner.
Using expertise in 3D printing and materials technology Fripp Design and Research quickly proved the feasibility of 3D printing technology for this new and innovative use in a product that is bespoke, high volume and high value.
The project is now in the final stages of refinement of the manufacturing process where Fripp Design and Research have played a key role in the development of materials and process.

Although this project seeks to culminate in the production of an advanced manufactured medical device, it was approached in the same way as any Industrial Design problem; where a customer has a problem to solve and the device needs designing with materials, volume and user needs in mind.