Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools. Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Zimmer

Surgery Simplified With Ergonomics

Skills Used
Engineering, Industrial Design, Prototyping, Human Factors Engineering

Zimmer has long been known for designing, manufacturing and distributing the world’s most advanced surgical tools for spinal surgeries. Though many patients suffering from debilitating back issues have received life-changing surgery, standard procedures sometimes take hours to perform and include dozens of complex instruments and processes that spinal surgeons must use to achieve successful results.

Because these spinal surgery procedures and instruments are so complicated, Zimmer approached Worrell to partner with them to develop a new design for one of their most commonly used spinal toolsets; the goal being to reduce hand fatigue and shorten procedure time by making the tools more intuitive.

Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.

Our Approach

The project began by developing a comprehensive understanding of when and how the tools were used. By building empathy for the surgeons, Worrell’s Research team made recommendations so that the Industrial Design team could resolve the ergonomic issues of the current set.

The Design team reduced the horn size of the angled tools to give them a sleeker appearance. They also modified the handles to create a more substantial grip to improve precision during surgery. The tools were slimmed down and edges smoothed to create a softer, refined aesthetic, reducing the overall weight of each tool. The combination of these new design elements completely overhauled the toolset, increasing accuracy and precision while creating a common design aesthetic that helps surgeons understand how to use each tool.

Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.

Key Activities

Ideation Workshops

Industrial Design Concepts

Illustrations

CAD Modeling

Design Language Development

Colors, Materials, Finishes Schemes

Semi-functional Prototypes

Proof-of-Concept Designs

Manufacturability Assessment

Parametric A/B-side Surfacing

Transfer to Manufacturing

Results

Worrell’s expertise in research and user-centered design produced a new family of tools that redefined the standards of ergonomic and aesthetic design for spinal surgery. Surgeons quickly discovered the benefits of the new tools, citing a decrease in hand fatigue and a noticeable improvement in ease-of-use. Zimmer is pleased, having re-solidified its leading position in the spinal surgery industry.

Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.
Industrial design, engineering and prototyping for an ergonomic redesign of Zimmer's surgical tools.

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