This project encompassed the design and manufacturing of a comprehensive set of custom test fixtures. The fixtures were designed to be used with an Instron test frame, where functional characterization testing would be performed on a plethora of optical medical catheters. A total of six requirements-driven fixtures were developed, perfected, and delivered during the life of the project.

3x Mechanical Engineers

Solidworks, Design X

Medical Device Manufacturing and Validation


  • Develop fixturing to test and characterize shaft bending and response
  • Develop fixturing to test button and knob forces and physics
  • Develop fixturing to optically measure shaft curvature during operational ‘steering’
  • Develop fixturing to test shaft properties when subjected to destructive tensile forces
  • Develop standalone six axis fixture to measure optical properties and image quality


Many of Pipeline’s customers own Instron test frames and use them for testing their devices. Thus, Pipeline often designs custom fixtures that seamlessly mount to and interface with Instron’s test frames. These Instron test fixtures were broken down into six major fixturing groups and a ‘modular device holder’. Multiple mechanical engineers worked independently and collaboratively in order to bring each fixture to fruition. Each Instron test fixture went through the following stages during the project lifecycle: Preliminary Design, Internal Design review meetings, Detailed Design, multiple design review meetings with customer team, Final Design, Manufacturing, Assembly, Internal Test and Validation, Delivery, Customer Test/Validation/Measurement Systems Analysis

Because this testing was going to be performed in an R&D environment, much of the Instron test fixtures were manufactured using 3D printing technology, lowering the overall cost of the project, and accelerating the timeline for our customer. The 3D printing technology Pipeline employs uses carbon fiber inside the printed parts, creating extremely strong and robust parts.

Contact us today to learn how your team can leverage ours for test fixture design, and to develop custom equipment and industrial automation.

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