Midmark, an international leader in dental equipment, believes in providing the best user experience in all areas of care. Existing dental delivery systems can be cumbersome with little consideration for ergonomics for the dentist and assistants. To address these issues, Midmark and Priority Designs collaborated to introduce the Elevance Continental-Style Delivery Unit.
An immersion process identified that no two people work the same way. Wide variances in dental procedures, methodologies, and patients were identified, which outlined the need for a large range of movement for positioning the dental hand pieces.
Greater range aids the freedom of movement for the dentist and dental assistants, allowing them to focus on their tasks as opposed to wrestling with the equipment.
The engineering and design challenge involved the creation of the flexible arm to accommodate various users. 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 Priority Designs’ prototype labs and examined through the rigors of informal product testing. Multiple prototypes were fabricated to dial in the flex, recoil, and maximum range offered. Durability was tested in simulated use scenarios and proved to be more than sufficient for normal working conditions.
Three fully functional prototypes of the dental delivery system were designed, engineered, 3D printed, and cast in production-simulation materials at Priority Designs.
The prototypes showcased the desired interaction and product design which allowed for real-world evaluation in working environments.
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.
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