The final solution mimics the movement of a spine that provides flexibility in controlled directions and rigidity at rest. The arm utilizes an acetal beam surrounded by a silicone overmold. The acetal beam provides the flexibility required, and through testing, holds up to the rigors of repeated usage. The silicon overmold provides a simple, cleanable, durable surface. When combined, the arm provides a very natural, organic and beautiful movement as it flexes to accommodate operating conditions. The Midmark Continental-Style Dental Delivery System provides maximum flexibility compared to existing solutions, via the unique, patent-pending spine of the whip arm.
Months of engineering exploration and testing produced dozens of models that showcased multiple materials and mechanism solutions to accommodate the required range. From that exploration, the preferred solution was created out of simulated materials in the prototype lab and examined through the rigors of informal product testing. Multiple prototypes were fabricated to dial in the flex, recoil, and maximum range offered.
The prototype team worked through multiple challenges to achieve the desired spine affect while not sacrificing the efficiency of Midmark’s Continental-Style Dental Delivery System. The main challenge was to come up with the proper geometry to allow a rigid plastic to be flexible and then be rigid again when it needed to be. By experimenting and failing early we were able to achieve the desired effect though refinement. We overmolded the new spine into the new wand components which allowed for maximum flexibility and efficient use of the system.
Three fully functional prototypes of the dental delivery system were designed, engineered, 3D printed, and cast in production-simulation materials. The prototypes showcased the desired interaction and product design which allowed for real-world evaluation in working environments.