For over 50 years, Boston Orthotics and Prosthetics prevention, rehabilitation, and correction medical and sports bracing products have made them the leading producer of plastic spinal bracing products in the world. In 2006, they began developing a cranial re-molding device that is used in hospitals for newborn babies. The innovative design allows the baby’s head to be shaped properly in the early stages of the skull’s development.
Using plaster models and silicone molds, Boston Orthotics and Prosthetics was able to create enough prototypes of the device to complete initial testing at Boston’s Children’s Hospital; however, they weren’t sure of the next step. Their initial thought was to jump right into injection molding, but with extremely high mold costs and a minimum purchase order of 5,000 units, they decided to contact the team at Hapco, Inc. to explore Liquid Molding™ as an alternative. After comparing the benefits of using Liquid Molding™ materials and processes with those of Injection Molding, the choice was easy.
Boston Orthotics and Prosthetics’ Vice President, Jon Taylor, brought one of the prototype parts to Hapco’s facility in Hanover, MA to discuss how to make their production mold. With Hapco’s advice, Jon decided surface casting would be the best option for precise dimensional accuracy. A surface cast mold involves a low-cost, composite material that is chemically and mechanically bonded to the back of a high-performance surface material. Hapflex 668 was chosen as the surface material because of its durability and wear resistance and the Fill-Its/Haprez™ combination would be used as the backup. For the actual part, the team chose Ultralloy 51-5 for its bright white appearance, outstanding properties, and fast turnover.
To ensure that the first mold was made properly, Hapco invited Jon’s team to use their state-of-the-art casting facility, try out the dispensing machines, and have expert technicians on hand to help them throughout the entire process. After seeing how the RAPIDFIL™ dispensing machine eliminated the mixing, measuring, and air entrapment normally associated with hand processing, Jon decided to take it with him.
With both mold halves cast and cured, Boston O&P was up and running with its new equipment and molding technology within a week. A month later, the Hapco team members involved in this project made a follow-up visit to their facility in Avon, MA. It was inspiring to see that with just 150 square ft. of space for the RAPIDFIL™, 1 mold, and a finishing table, Boston O&P can keep the shelves full, but more importantly, make a positive impact on people’s lives. Jon was enthusiastic about the possibilities for Liquid Molding, saying,
“In the future, we plan on applying these Liquid Molding techniques to start manufacturing a number of outsourced orthotic components in-house.”
To learn more about Boston Orthotics & Prosthetics and their world-class products visit their website at www.bostonorthoticsandprosthetics.com