By Shawn Reilly, Operations Manager - Service Bureau
With our continuing goal of R&D Technologies being a good corporate neighbor, we commit as a team to giving back to our community and educational institutions whenever the opportunity arises. We recently had the opportunity to do just that in using our state-of-the-art 3D printing technology and engineering expertise to enhance the life of a young boy with Type 1 diabetes.
Matt Tokarski’s mother, Katherine, has struggled for years with the ability to monitor the critical glucose levels of her diabetic son. Recently, Dexcom G4 technology has been developed allowing her to monitor, in real time, her son’s up to the moment status (referred to as CGM, or Continuous Glucose Monitoring). The Dexcom G4 device monitors Matt’s glucose levels and connects via a small cable to Matt’s cellular device, which while running an open source app called “Nightscout”, transmits all of Matt’s data to Katherine’s own mobile device where she is able see, in real time, her son’s status. The fascinating thing is that she can monitor him from the sideline of a soccer pitch, from a mile away when he is sleeping at a friend’s, or even from the other side of the world. Because Nightscout is cloud-based, there is no distance limitation on her ability to monitor him.
Although the technology is impressive and effective, there was still a major issue for Katherine- keeping the devices secure and connected by a very small and delicate cable- particularly because they are connected to an energetic 10 year old boy who behaves and plays hard like, well, a typical 10 year old boy.
Katherine discovered a solution. One day when browsing one of many diabetes-related user groups on the internet, she discovered the 3D CAD file of a case-like device that would hold both the Dexcom G4 and Matt’s cellular device in a secure manner, while protecting the cable that connects them. In wanting to get one made, she contacted R&D Technologies to use Stratasys 3D printing technology to build one for her. We, of course, were excited to assist Katherine and Matt in contributing to her piece of mind and his quality of life in any way we could and built the case in Stratasys ABS orange- Matt’s favorite color. Katherine and Matt loved the case, however there was a slight fit problem that allowed Matt’s phone to move within it. We asked that she bring the devices into our facility so that we could take specific measurements of both devices and see if we could improve upon the design from a fit perspective.
R&D’s engineering team took precise measurements of both the Dexcom G4 and Matt’s cellular device and compared those measurements to the 3D CAD that had been provided. We noticed slight changes that needed to be made in the design, and made the necessary adjustments.
Again, the part was printed in Matt’s favorite orange ABS, and the result this time was a solid case for his two devices that will hold up for the foreseeable future. For our part, R&D Technologies is proud to have contributed this project, and to impacting in a positive way the life of a young boy and his family. Said Katherine Tokarski, ““Everyone at R&D was just amazing,- they tackled this project from the very beginning and were wonderful people to work with. And although I offered to pay them for their services, they wouldn’t take a penny. What they have done has given me incredible piece of mind. I can’t say enough about what they have done for us.”