May 24, 2010

DS SolidWorks Helps Bring Lifesaving Artery Tool designed by Cardiovascular Systems Inc. to Reality

SolidWorks Design, Simulation, and Publishing Software Contribute to Halving of Design Cycle, 20 Percent Materials Saving, and Paperless Assembly.

CONCORD, Mass – Arthrosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is an extremely common and lethal disease. To treat it, more than a million angioplasties are performed in the United States every year. A new technology, designed by Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (CSI) using SolidWorks® software, is giving a growing number of patients a compelling alternative to high-pressure angioplasty.

Called orbital atherectomy, the new procedure uses disposable, diamond-coated, catheter- based artery probes of varying sizes to sand away plaque, which can be as hard as bone. Careful, high-speed sanding can open a smooth pipe for significantly improved blood flow, reducing the risk of rupturing blood vessels or breaking off stroke-inducing chunks of plaque. More than 99 percent of the particles are smaller than a red blood cell and are washed away with the patient’s blood flow.

“I’ve watched a pair of pallid feet turn healthy pink as the doctors use our Diamondback 360® PAD System to restore circulation,” said CSI Design Services Manager Christopher Narveson. “The procedure can help a homebound patient get up and walk the beach with his/her spouse overnight. It can eliminate the need for amputation, which has devastating lifestyle consequences. Helping people this way makes it a joy to go to work in the morning.”

SolidWorks software helped Cardiovascular Systems take a viable product design, consisting solely of 2D drawings, and bring it quickly to market, according to Narveson. Modeling the Diamondback 360 in SolidWorks automatically readied the design for manufacturing.

Use of 3DVIA Composer publishing software has saved the company time, money, and effort by automating assembly instructions and displaying them on clean-room computer screens. This has enabled the company to forego paper instructions that require constant re-cleaning.

3DVIA Composer also helps doctors, marketers, and partners see the Diamondback in action and appreciate its benefit by viewing animations from SolidWorks CAD models. CSI uses SolidWorks Simulation Premium software to optimize the performance of affordable, high-strength plastic components.

Switching to SolidWorks shortened the company’s design cycle from two years to nine months and helped CSI pare more than 20 percent of material costs from the product. SolidWorks has also enabled quick development of second and third generations of the Diamondback. These new devices require fewer people and less equipment to operate.

“We can’t imagine life without SolidWorks,” said Narveson. “It enables us to continuously improve the product, easily explain how it works, and thereby help more patients and our company as well. Without it, we’d be back in the stone age.”

The Diamondback 360 is FDA-approved for use in limb arteries and will begin clinical trials for coronary artery disease in 2010.

Cardiovascular Systems relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller Symmetry Solutions Inc. for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.