Updated: Jun 26
It has been quite the couple of months. From the early days of COVID-19, to the mandatory closures, to the gradual reopening of the economy. At AHead, we've been continuing to improve the product and are ready to relaunch CARL with new materials, new finishing, and a new level of quality. It is no secret that CARL has looked prototype-ish in the past. Our use of 3D printing has allowed us to rapidly iterate product improvements, but also reduced the overall quality of the product. After lots of feedback and experimentation, we have reached a new process and a new CARL that will go head-to-head (literally) with the other manikins available today (*cough* KEMAR *cough*). Check it out:
As for what we've done, we've redesigned our process from the ground up using industry-leading 3D printers for the best quality currently possible in the world of 3D printing.
Improved Build Quality
We've translated from a rapid-prototyping material to a far more robust, engineering-grade, production part-ready material. This not only allows for a longer-lasting product, but allows for a more durable CARL which can better sustain falls off of desks, tables, lab benches, or wherever your students like to 'accidentally' drop your other research equipment.
The difference is quality is unmistakable. It immediately turns CARL from a back-of-house research equipment, into a customer-facing showpiece.
Even with our previous work to create a more stable CARL with suction cups on the bottom or the included VESA mounting bracket for the mounting to a monitor stand, the solution could truly only be fixed through a redesign. By filling in CARL's shoulders and increasing the weight and material that is used within CARL in the base, we created a much more robust and sturdy piece of equipment.
Stability of the CARL is largely enhanced, and with suction cups for the the base of CARL now supplied in every box, we can reduce the number of falls and allow for a more secure model.
It wouldn't be a major update if the CARL ears weren't included in it. This time, we've revamped our method of production for the ears. Previously, there were lines evident in the ears (3D printing lines) that led to difficulty smoothly inserting objects into the ear canal, reducing the realism of the otoscopic view, and made the ears more prone to ripping. These new ears are entirely smoothed with no lines seen.
CARL's ears are now smooth, and are the closest you can get to borrowing a neighbor's ear!
By continuing to use industry-leading 3D printing in our processes, we can continue to improve the model as we go. With current feedback looking for an improvement to the cap functionality, ear attachments, camera viewing, and earmold impression compatibility, we will continue to integrate improvements into the continual development of CARL.
We will continue to improve CARL and update the models on the go with updates as they are incorporated. Thank you for being part of the CARL Community, and get ready for an exciting summer of CARL. We are here to support you during this time of uncertainty, and make sure you are ready for incorporating hands-on training in the most safe way possible - by social distancing and using a manikin instead of a classmate!
As always, reach out to the AHead team at any time for any questions or suggestions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you are ready to start checking out these improvements for yourself, visit https://www.aheadsimulations.com/buycarl or email email@example.com.