Rapid prototyping in virtual reality - Case Planmeca

Planmeca Oy is a global leader in many fields of healthcare technology, with products distributed in over 120 countries worldwide. The product range covers digital dental units, world-class 2D and 3D imaging devices, and comprehensive CAD/CAM and software solutions. Intopalo solved their challenge of long product design cycles by conceiving and implementing a prototyping clinic in virtual reality.

Designing and manufacturing healthcare products requires a great deal of special expertise and precision. An ergonomic workflow for healthcare professionals, patient and staff safety, patient comfort and long-lasting aesthetics are the most important design principles.

CHALLENGE: LONG PRODUCT DESIGN CYCLES

Before, several physical prototypes had to be manufactured during the development process, prolonging time to market. Without life-size prototypes, it is impossible to ensure that usability, ergonomics and industrial design meet the high requirements and standards of the healthcare technology industry.

However, building prototypes by hand is expensive and time-consuming. To accelerate the process and to cut costs, Planmeca asked Intopalo to conceive and create a virtual reality solution to speed up the prototyping process.

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SOLUTION: CLINIC IN VIRTUAL REALITY ENABLES RAPID PROTOTYPING

To solve the challenge, Intopalo created a virtual reality clinic where multiple team members can collaborate, visualize, and manipulate 3D CAD models in 1:1 proportion. In addition to the increased speed of iteration, one of the main benefits of virtual reality is the ability to experience the real dimensions of the product: how the device looks and how it fits into the clinic room. It is also possible to join the VR environment from a remote location, eliminating the need to travel. Moreover, collecting early phase feedback from healthcare professionals and customers is now remarkably easy as well.

 

 

Impact

  •  Faster time to market
  • Lower development costs
  •  Gaining readiness for usability testing and obtaining regulatory approvals significantly earlier than before

Interested in making your product development faster and cheaper?

Harri Vuolle

LinkedIn