Westminster Tool Teams Up with Foster and Mantle for Medical Device Case Study
We’re proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Mantle Inc. and Foster Corp. in researching some groundbreaking technology for the medical device manufacturing industry. Following the success of our previous studies on applying Mantle’s Technology, our latest project set out to create medical-grade forceps while testing the design, material, manufacturing, and injection molding process with metal 3D printed cavities.
Results from our research will be revealed at the upcoming PTXPO show in Rosemont, IL, on Wednesday, March 30 at the Moldmaking Technology Tech Talk Theater. Attendees are welcome to visit Westminster Tool and Mantle side by side at Booth 1317 and 1319, where they can also see the cavities and surgical forceps up close.
Using Foster’s latest polymer from Arkema, we worked with Mantle to design and produce metal 3D-printed cavities for research and development. We met with Foster in December of 2021 to discuss their supply of the new material, known commercially as Rilsan® FKZM 65 O TD MED, a glass-filled, advanced bio-based polymer designed for medical devices. The material was developed specifically with surgical instruments in mind. Not only does the material offer high performance but emphasizes sustainability, being devised from castor oil.
Considering our shared experience within the medical industry, Foster CEO, Larry Acquarulo and Westminster Tool President, Ray Coombs, discussed running the material with Mantle printed cavities. The idea is that we could create a high quality prototype tool quickly, and Foster would get real-world medical device examples for potential customers.
The material’s high-density glass filling meant it was highly abrasive and would likely pose challenges in a traditional aluminum prototype tool. As a result, metal 3D-printed cavities from Mantle became a popular prospect early on. Mantle’s printed cavities in this situation not only allow for the use of a subgate to mold thousands of parts without worrying about eroding the gates, but they also enable us to put in cooling lines and more effectively control the cavity temperature, which is critical to molding this particular material.