We have a growing number of case studies from across the Advancing Manufacturing Cluster Builder programme which we'd like to share with you here. You can view all case studies or filter by specific Project.

If you'd like to find out more about any of the case studies listed on this page, please get in touch with us.

Abergower logo

Project: The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC)

Abergower 3D Covid-19 Swabs (MDMC)

Abergower Ltd is a Scottish business specialising in 3D printers and digital scanning services, which collaborated with the Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) and SMAS (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service) to develop a new prototype for a brand new type of swab.


Abergower identified an opportunity to supply much-needed swabs for the planned scale-up of Covid-19 testing by the Scottish and UK Governments. Already having a a license to design a swab by a US company, Abergower adapted this to suit European and UK specifications.

With some known issues around the comfort and effectiveness of swab testing kits, Abergower 3D believed they could improve on the current designs available.

How did MDMC help?

As MDMC help SMEs to translate medical device concepts through to small batch commercial prototypes with access to state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, Abergower reached out to MDMC for support in developing a Nasopharynx prototype.

Business Benefits

Abergower have pivoted their business model to produce this new Nasopharynx, which is 3D-printed and collects viral material from the back of the nose, without needing to swab the throat.

It creates a less invasive testing experience, reducing time, anxiety and discomfort. 3D printing meant these designs could be rapidly prototyped and were scalable.

In addition, they were able to develop a phased manufacturing capacity build plan with support from SMAS.

This project has proved to be a major learning experience for Abergower which has also enabled the company to develop synergies with an emerging networks of partners in Scotland including EO Labs, NHS Scotland and Anderson Caledonia.

About MDMC

The Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) project is funded by the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF). The primary aim of AMCF projects, moderated by Scottish Enterprise and funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is to advance the manufacturing capabilities of small to medium-sized enterprises in Scotland.

MDMC is a partnership between Heriot-Watt University, University of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University and University of Glasgow, which supports small and medium sized companies to translate medical device concepts through to small batch commercial prototypes.