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Forme Tech32

Case Study

Covid-19 Swab
Medical Industry

Design optimisation for injection moulding and manufacturing.

Plastic Resins
No disclosable.

Support processes:
Re-engineering for injection moulding.
Tool design optimisation. (Mould flow analysis software).
Forme Technologies toolroom.
Clean environment manufacturing.



3dMeditech developed nasopharyngeal testing kits and saliva swabs to fight the COVID-19 virus. The swap used to take the saliva sample  is manufactured by 3dMeditech using high end 3d printers. They were pioneers in the world in the use of 3d printers for swab manufacturing. With an increased demand the production throughput was not enough and as a result 3dMediTech needed to increase their production output in a short time. They identified the injection moulding process as the solution.

The potential injection moulded swab should retain the two main features of the 3d printed swab. 3dMeditech incorporated and innovative feature to capture the adequate volume of saliva for the test. The handle of the swab can be break off from the sample shaft so it can be stored in the sample container for preservation and transportation.
That is when 3dMediTech approached Forme Technologies. 

They were looking for a partner that could reengineer their 3dprinted swab for injection moulding and be production ready within 3 weeks.

  • Design optimisation for injection moulding.
  • Short lead time for tool manufacturing


Optimise 3dMeditech’s swab design for injection moulding to increase production capacity without compromising it’s performance. 

  • Modify the design to be produced injection moulding.
  • Identify a biocompatible material that meets the requirements of the 10993 standard.
  • The mechanical characteristics of the new material must meet the ones of the 3d printed material at a similar cost.
  • Separate the swab from the handle, the swab breaking feature must perform as the current 3d printed part. 
  • The solution should be ready in less than three weeks.
  • The swab must be produced in a clean environment without human contact.


Product Development

3dMeditech’s swab was designed to be manufactured using a 3d printer. Forme Technologies worked with 3dMediTech’s team to “translate” the design into the injection moulding process.

Both processes have inherent manufacturability constraints, the main challenge was to retain the features that the current design has. This should be in hand with the material selection.

Forme Technologies works hard to make sure that designs are manufacturable without adding unnecessary complexities.

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3dMeditech needed to have a solution ready in less than three weeks. The main challenge was to verify that the function of the new design performed as the 3d printed parts.

3dMeditech and Forme Technologies team developed a plan where a two-cavity “prototype/low production” steel insertable tool would be developed to “prototype” versions of the critical features to validate the design in the new material.

At the same time a production tool was being developed by one of our Local toolmaker partners. Once the design was tested, verified and approved, the best performing version of the features were implemented into the production tool.

Forme Technologies completed the prototype tool in under two weeks. Forme Technologies achieve this thanks to the in-house design and toolroom capabilities.



One of Forme Technologies latest technology electric injection moulding machine is used for the production of 3dMediTech’s swab.

The swabs are taken off the tool by our robot and transferred directly into packaging. The swabs have no human contact. Our machines have an integrated quality control system that allow us to monitor the processing variables shot  by shot.

Cleenroom 7


Forme Technologies 9001:2015 quality system is aligned to comply with ISO 13485 requirements to produce 3dMediTech swabs. Samples are taken routinely from production to verify that the product is being produced to specification. The swabs are measured in our CMM machine.


Forme Technologies produce 3dMeditech in a proprietary designed clean environment that encapsules the manufacturing cell where swabs are produced.

3D Mediitech


3dMediTech was able to meet the increasing demand and was able to supply on time an provide testing for one of the most important sporting events in Melbourne in 2021. They were able to provide safety for attendees and the broader community in Melbourne. 


  • 3dMeditech saliva swab worked as intended.
  • 3dMeditech’s was able to deliver product on time
  • Forme Technologies is now the swab manufacturing partner of 3dMediTech.
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