A Strong Case for 3D Printing: R&D Technologies Helps an Active Child with Diabetes Stay Active

Katherine Tokarski’s 10 year-old son was born with Type 1 Diabetes, a disease which requires extensive glucose monitoring. The Tokarski family carefully tracks their son’s levels with the help of a device called the Dexcom G4. This glucose monitoring system communicates with computers and mobile devices to the internet, which allows Katherine to access her son’s glucose levels remotely.

The 3D printed device, seen above in orange, was printed with FDM technology on the Fortus 250mc in ABSplus material.
The 3D printed device, seen above in orange, was printed with FDM technology on the Fortus 250mc in ABSplus material.

The problem arose when Katherine found it increasingly difficult to secure the device and its connector cable to her son’s mobile phone. Katherine reached out to R&D Technologies Inc., a Stratasys reseller and Rhode Island-based 3D printing service bureau, after discovering a 3D CAD file of a device online that would safely secure her son’s Dexcom G4 monitor and cellular phone. The R&D team printed the file, but discovered the 3D printed case did not accurately fit Matt’s Dexcom and mobile devices.

Engineers at R&D Technologies then met with Katherine and Matt to take measurements of his Dexcom monitor and phone. They modified the existing CAD file and produced the device on the Stratasys Fortus 250mc 3D Printer in ABSPlus in Matt’s favorite color, orange. The FDM technology was significant to the overall design, as it provided the durability needed to sustain the physical wear and tear of Matt’s lifestyle. Moreover, 3D printing technology allowed engineers to test custom designs with little to low operating costs.

R&D Technologies final design safely houses both the mobile device and Dexcom G4 monitor.
R&D Technologies final design safely houses both the mobile device and Dexcom G4 monitor.

Shawn Reilly, Operations Manager of R&D Technologies highlighted  the importance of customization for this project. “As of now, the Dexcom mobile app called Nightscout can only run on an Android phone with at least Android v3.0.0 OS and OTG capability.  As the device compatibility of the app expands, we are able to customize fit to an iPhone, for example, when the child’s device is inevitably upgraded.”

What’s to prevent a vibrant 10 year-old boy from breaking his case? Although it’s unlikely to occur, the Tokarski family can rest assured knowing that 3D printing is standing by.

“Repeatability is also important in my opinion in that we are taking about a 10 year-old boy. I have one at home too, and one of the things that 10 year-old boys do best is destroy things. Should he accidently break the case, we can have one reprinted and overnighted to his home. Fortunately, because of the robust quality of Stratasys ABSPlus, and our selection of the proper build orientation, our expectation is that this need will be unlikely,” said Reilly.

This post is also available in: German

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