MicroAire Solo Wire Driver

Ergonomic Innovation

The ergonomic Solo™ Driver is the smallest wire/drill-driver with the widest range of wire sizes, part of the iSIS™ small-bone power system developed with surgeons, for surgeons (for use with the new 5025 iSIS™ electric power console).

Developed with the surgeon in mind, the Solo™ Driver features single hand use with fingertip control of the forward, reverse and oscillating controls. Designed for comfortable ambidextrous use, the Solo™ Driver works with a range of wires (0.7mm to 2.0mm) with impressive power!

Opportunity & Strategy

When Microaire approached us with the vision of combining two formats of wire drivers into a unique device, we jumped at the chance. The result is a truly unique device that provides orthopedic surgeons with a dynamic new tool combining the control of a pistol grip driver with the touch of pencil grip devices.

Ethnographic Research

We study users in their natural environment to better understand the relationship and the influence each has on one another. Understanding behaviors in context to the environment provides true insights which will drive innovation and success.

User Interviews

User interviews helped us understand end users’ needs and unmet desires when operating wire drivers during surgery. Through years of experience, we have developed an expertise for asking the right questions that lead to the insights needed for true innovation. We questioned surgeons' preferences while listening for opportunities to innovate.

Design Research

Our services include conducting design research. We like to perform a deep dive, learning about all aspects of a user's experience, observing patterns and questioning behaviors, becoming experts ourselves through first hand experiences. For the Solo design program, we studied the surgery setup, practiced inserting pins into sawbones, and even observed how devices were sanitized post-operation.

Ergonomic Concept Exploration

Development of a handheld device with a unique form factor required quick iterative exploration. Our designers are hands on when creating these exploratory concept mockups enabling us to instantly analyze varying options. We iterated on dozens of product configurations, evaluating the benefits and drawbacks for each concept.

Preliminary User Feedback

Seeking feedback from the users early in the process allowed us to make critical decisions without proceeding down a possibly un-preferable path. The initial wire driver concepts were brought before select users with several key configurations garnering positive feedback combined with cues for refinement.

Preliminary Concept Development

To gather detailed critical analysis from surgeons, higher fidelity prototypes with appropriate dimensions, weight, and balance were created. To do so, preliminary 3D CAD was developed of the preferred concept directions. SLA prototype models allowed us to quickly evaluate the data prior to proceeding.

Prototyping for User Feedback

As developers of medical products, we are keenly aware of the value and critical importance of the end user's input during the development process. To evaluate the concepts, a select group of orthopedic surgeons were surveyed, providing input and analysis of the concept directions. Precision CNC models were produced based on the 3D CAD data developed for this analysis, replicating the true weight, balance, and forces needed to operate each realized design.

Design Refinement & Development

The preferred concept direction was selected utilizing feedback from surgeons with opportunities for refinement being revealed. Refinements were quickly explored to enhance the intuitive use of the device. Our iterative development approach is designed to discover problems early in the process, minimizing risk while innovating for success.

Engineering Concepts

Our creative engineers and industrial designers work in close collaboration to invent and develop mechanical and technology concepts that create the foundation for innovative new products. This combination of design and engineering talent is key because the opportunities and challenges for both are interdependent.

Design Refinement & CAD Development

With a clear understanding of the mechanical configuration and spacial requirements, we began development of external 3D CAD data of the ergonomic wire driver design. Photo-realistic CAD renderings were produced with the completed CAD data for CMF evaluation.

Anthropometric Size Optimization

As developers of medical products, we are keenly aware of the value and critical importance ergonomics play in product development. Our understanding of human factors has been sharpened through decades of product development. The process we employ relies on an early and often prototyping methodology, checked against the latest ergonomic data and validated with user testing prior to advanced development.

Engineering CAD Developent

3D CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) allows us to develop complex designs rapidly and with excellent accuracy. Our design and engineering teams use the latest and best CAD software systems available, including deep expertise in PTC Pro/E and CREO, SolidWorks and programs.

Design Verification Prototyping

3D CAD data allows us to produce precision prototypes by all the best methods such as 3D printing and CNC. We use the very best 3D printing technologies for precision and accuracy. And we use precision CNC machining to make prototypes of the specific plastic and metal materials that would be used in production. This type of engineering prototype allows us to test the product performance with prototypes that are very close to as-manufactured products.