So what do engineers and prototype developers do during those rare moments of downtime? They come up with their own product ideas of course. It can really be an invigorating process. We do this day in and day out for our clients so when the opportunity comes where you can have a blank sheet of paper and truly start from the beginning it can be a lot of fun. All we need is a problem to solve.
This year has been extremely busy and there has been very little opportunity for development of anything but jobs for our clients. We recently had a little time though and one of our engineers had an idea for sharps protection that he wanted to explore. The problem of Sharps protection is serious. Health care providers face the risk of contracting disease and infection by accidently sticking themselves with a contaminated syringe needle. Inventing a medical device that prevents an accidental stick is quite a challenge. One solution is to prevent the needle from ever having the point exposed. Shu Amano one of our seasoned prototype designers came up with this idea for a bellows that would expand over the needle protecting the tip from accidental contact. The bellows is then able to retract when the needle is inserted in a patient or a vial in order to function normally. The trick was how to prevent the tip from just popping out of the end of the bellows. The solution to that is the standard operating procedure around here. Shu called a quick brainstorm session with the team and they came upon a solution where the bellows can be extended past the tip of the needle and then tucked inside a ridge in the design that traps the needle end and prevents it from extending out of the opening in the bellows. It may sound a little complicated but it really is quite a simple and elegant solution. Take a look of this video that we created to demonstrate the function.
As with any Intellectual Property or IP it has t o be protected so this video, line drawings and a description of the product were sent to our patent attorney who began the patent process for us and protected the concept with a patent pending. Getting a concept to the market is a difficult task. We have been through this process many times and it's not for the faint of heart. We love developing product. That is what we do best. We will leave the marketing up to others. We are using this concept to demonstrate our process and our capabilities. If anyone is interested in marketing this concept they are welcome to contact us but regardless I hope that it shows how our creative process works and how we develop products here at Creative Mechanisms.