Medical Device Manufacturer: PTC Solutions 40% More Stable than Autodesk Inventor

The Institute of Musculoskeletal Science and Education, based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is an engineering and development firm that specializes in medical devices. With a team of mechanical and manufacturing engineers, regulatory experts, clinical experts, and physicians, ISME takes designs from concept to customer.  “We can take a paper napkin sketch and deliver an FDA cleared and manufactured device or product for large companies or regional start-ups or individuals,” says the corporate web page.

One of the organization’s most recent successes has been an Oblique Cage. Surgeons attach the small hollow cage to a weakened lumbar spine so that bone can grow through the device, fusing adjacent bony surfaces. For a patient with degenerative disc disease, the cage brings lower back pain relief with few complications, minimal pain, and a shorter hospital stay than required by most spinal fusion surgeries.


The Oblique Cage brings lower back pain relief with few complications


In 2014, IMSE received FDA clearance for the cage and added it to its portfolio of orthopedic and spinal devices available for licensing or sale.

IMSE says that, as a medical manufacturer, it’s unique because it doesn’t market the devices it engineers. Rather, everything is developed for other companies. The organization says that one business difference makes for a more ethical and fair work environment for the surgeons on its staff.

IMSE is also unusual because the team engineers everything in house—from sketch to simulation. By keeping it all within the organization, IMSE fully controls its own engineering work.

And that’s one reaons IMSE abandoned Autodesk Inventor and adopted PTC solutions.


Oblique Cage designed and validated in PTC Creo


Without outside suppliers, every tool within the company must be thorough and reliable. PTC Creo provides an easy-to-use 3D design package that engineers at ISME can use to create reliable models and meet strict FDA standards for analysis. The team ensures their products will work under real-world conditions with PTC Creo Simulate, a structural, thermal, and vibration analysis solution with a comprehensive set of finite element analysis (FEA) capabilities.

Ed-Explore the extensive simulation capabilities in PTC Creo that enable designers to easily analyze both parts and assemblies.

“PTC Creo Simulate helps us to save months of time during prototyping phase on projects,” says Michael Black, associate director of technical services. “Our motto for success is ‘Fail early, fail often.’”

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What is PTC Creo?
Demos and essentials
What is PTC Windchill?
Demos and essentials
Medical Equipment
Designed with PTC Creo

That said, the team isn’t at all prepared to fail when it comes to managing its intellectual property. So, ISME safeguards the integrity of its work with PTC Windchill PDM Essentials, a data management solution for smaller organizations that want to effectively organize product content. With PTC Windchill PDM Essentials, team members can improve design reuse, broaden access to product information, and carefully control design versions and release processes.


Today, PTC solutions support all of IMSE’s technology needs. The results have been spectacular. IMSE says that PTC Creo coupled with PTC Windchill PDM Essentials is 40% more stable than Autodesk Inventor. Plus, by using PTC Creo Simulate, IMSE cuts months off of the prototype phase of its projects.

Ed – ISME is one of many medical companies using PTC software to improve the quality of people’s lives. On this blof alone we’ve featured teams developing artificial hearts, prosthetic hands and feet, as well as disappearing medical implants made from magnesium.