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Prototyping: OEM Survey Highlights Challenges

Optimal execution in prototyping is crucial to both speedy time to market and end-functionality of the product.

It's a benchmark phase in the product development cycle—the final check for the feasibility of a concept. When executed properly, prototyping facilitates a smooth transition to final production. Conversely, even the smallest error early on can have consequences further down the supply chain.

We surveyed engineers and senior-level employees from 37 orthopaedic device companies of all sizes, seeking their perspectives on prototyping, 3D printing, in-house vs. outsourcing, significant challenges and more. Their insights are shared below.


What is your biggest prototyping challenge?


What percent of your prototyping is performed in-house?


How crucial is it to bring suppliers on board
prior to freezing the design of a device?

Crucial Important suboptimal but usable

78% of survey respondents said that sometimes the
company that builds their prototype also builds their first
in-human device. Challenges they voiced include: 

"Acceptable lead times for functional prototypes should be less than 2 weeks."

"It is difficult to find vendors to make proof of concept prototypes at a reasonable price."


How much of your prototyping is done via 3D printing?

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Do you have a prototyping challenge? Presently, these 50 suppliers are ready to learn about you. Choose your next partner from the Supplier Directory.