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Illustrating Medical Device Concepts

Wed, 08/31/2005 - 9:19am
In order to translate the product concepts and design improvements in his head into realistic images, QuintaEdge's Don Edgerton works closely with 4D Artists, a 3D modeling and animation studio in Lake County IL. Producing results that are virtually indistinguishable from photographs, 4D Artists transforms Edgerton's sketches into life-like 3D images.

A concept design group in Lake Barrington, IL, QuintaEdge recently developed improvements for two medical devices for patients with type II diabetes. Edgerton started the process by looking at new and existing products for the treatment of diabetes and the diagnosis of complications, which led him to the Insu-Load system. Initial designs of the device were crude and Edgerton had numerous ideas for improving it. He created detailed sketches of his improvements and took them to Jennifer O'Connor at 4D Artists.

O'Connor used a combination of 3ds max and Concepts Unlimited software to create 3D models from Edgerton's sketches. Seeing the model in 3D helped shape its direction, and the design evolved over time as O'Connor got feedback on the original concepts from QuintaEdge.

The final design was a highly detailed NURBS surface model made up of more than 120,000 polygons. Edgerton showed this rendering to manufacturers to obtain accurate material and manufacturing pricing. "The renderings were so realistic that one manufacturer thought I was showing him a photograph of the existing product," Edgerton says.

The success of the partnership with 4D Artists and the quality of the company's renderings have pleased Edgerton and his partners. The two companies have collaborated on nearly 20 projects, a number that Edgerton expects to increase. "The renderings from 4D Artists really help us sell our products to manufacturers," he says. "Many manufacturers think the CG model is a photo due to the realistic colors and materials in the images. Sketches wouldn't allow us to show the level of detail the renderings provide."

Information: www.4dartists.com

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