Engineered Medical went through at least 70 iterations of the plastic tray, Chang said, working with the CNC router, a computer-controlled machine for making precise cuts in a variety of materials. Chang said designing the trays by making new molds with every tweak would have cost the team $10,000 per tray.
The slide is patented because it was harder to design than it looks, particularly the divot where the test material is placed.
"There are some tricky parts to it," Chang said. "It presents a uniform layer so (the device) knows how thick, in terms of distance, the substance is."
They also made use of a laser cutter for etching their logo on the devices and creating packaging, a surprisingly complicated task, Chang said.
For the first couple hundred devices, Engineered Medical ran a production line in Hacker Lab's space. Now the company has manufacturing contracts in several countries to mass produce their product. They sold 1,400 of the first generation devices at $300. The second generation version costs $200.
Most of the company's 14 employees are Hacker Lab members, some of whom were hired because they offered helpful solutions while Engineered Medical was troubleshooting in the main coworking space. One current employee got involved when he suggested a way to fix a circuit board problem.
"To build a product, you need everything. It's not just engineering," Chang said. Besides firmware developers and electrical engineers, the company needed designers, photographers and customer support representatives.
"The rest of it that makes a product more than just a product," he said. "It makes it a business."
Hacker Lab co-founder Eric Ullrich said the coworking space is designed to bring members together on projects.
"That was part of our mission from the get-go ... building the community came first," he said. "The tools and equipment came afterward, it's just about creating a culture and an environment where we help one another and kind of expand what's possible."