Our internal engineering team developed a way to ease fatigue of the user by using mechanical advantage to reduce the force needed. The device also provides audible and visual cues to prompt the proper CPR cadence. Through prototyping, the team was able to test resuscitation effectiveness and how the device made resuscitations easier. The resulting design is attractive, lightweight, and easy to set-up and use. Deca-Medics was able to proceed toward FDA approval with the final design.
We began by developing and refining second generation prototypes. In many cases these early study models were acrylic that was cut on our laser cutter. These quick models allowed our engineers to understand basics such as where pivot points may best be placed to achieve the ideal range of motion. Engineers experimented with user hand and body positions and to vary the force required. These prototypes were also used for physiological testing on swine and controlled ergonomic testing.
As models became more refined, we moved from laser cut acrylic to proof-of-concept models. These were developed quickly using off the shelf gears and fabricated levers. At this stage, our main concern was to test what might be the best way to achieve mechanical advantage. Different concepts were tested; some used drive belts to connect the pivot arms other versions used strapping. For some, gears were modified in our shop to attach to pivot arms that were CNC machined from Delrin. Each concept was evaluated and a direction was selected.
A functional prototype was needed for pre-clinical testing. Key features such as pivot points, gears and levers were refined. Our shop took data created by our internal engineering team to use for programming parts on our CNC machines. Plates were machined from aluminum, while shafts and other parts were turned on CNC lathe and levers were fabricated from Delrin and aluminum. Our soft goods team provided the cloth webbing that would go around the test subjects. This prototype was used for testing to verify the concept with users.
With learnings gained through testing the functional prototype, we focused on the features that worked to give us the test results that we were looking for. Those key features were refined and developed into the final design. The last step was to create a functional and appearance prototype. This is the model that defines the design; mimicking a production quality product. We used CNC machines to cut parts from stainless steel, aluminum, Delrin and nylon – materials that would ultimately be used for production. The final prototype was used for further testing and presented to illustrate the concept to potential investors. It had to deliver, and it did.