Laerdal Global Health

October 2016

Advanced CAD design


Mama Birthie by Laerdal Global Health is an affordable birthing simulator for demonstrations and skill training. The innovative product was awarded the 2017 DOGA (Design and Architecture Norway) honorable mark for “an innovative and smart solution which helps mothers and children to survive in countries with weak health systems”.

Miror was brought into this project near the end of the development to design a beliveable pelvis in Siemens NX. The core constraints of the design was having manufacturing in mind and achieving the anatomical touch of a pelvis.

Mama Birthie – Image courtesy of Laerdal Global Health.

Project description

This assignment was done in tight collaboration with designers and engineers at Laerdal Global Health, and our task was to design a believable and organic pelvis shape within a given volume space. It also needed to be designed for molding.

In order to make the pelvis mold-able, it had to be split into two inner constructional segments and two outer aesthetic segments that should resemble a pelvis. In other words, the constraints for the projects were to use existing curves and surfaces on the inner structural design as a canvas to stay within, and use this area to design a believable pelvis shape.


The cylindrical shape including the wings was our boundary to work within for designing an organic and beliveable pelvis.

Concept development process

Together with a physical full scaled model of a pelvis, a 3D scan of an actual pelvis was given as reference. Our first step in the design process was to utilize NX Reverse engineering tools to patch, repair and smooth out the scan to utilize the geometry as a visual template. By having a 3D model of an actual pelvis within the software, NX Realize Shape, or subdivision modeling (3D shape exploration), was utilized to explore potential designs and design features, as well as getting to know the pelvis shape.


The Results

After the shape exploration, the engineering data was designed and modeled up in NX, using both some elements from the shape exploration as well as the organic 3D scanned shapes. This, together with iterative feedback from Ole Terje Østrem and Olav Storli Turtum, gave the final push on the product shape, providing a geometry which was ready to be refined and prepared for manufacturing and assembly.

The end product shows an inner constructional element, giving support and robustness during demonstrations of a simulated birth, while the outer shell provides the appearance of an actual pelvis.

“The really cool thing about this design is that we were able to make it feel like a massive bone construction even though it only consists of 3mm thick walls”, industrial designer Ole Terje Østrem says about the result design.


Over 2-3 weeks of shape exploration and anatonimcal studies, this was the final result of the pelvis design for Mama Birthie.

Magnus Skogsfjord at Miror was invaluable in the development of a sound modeling methodology. The learnings from this project have gone directly into the modeling work of other anatomical parts of similar complexity.

Olav Storli Turtum / Design Engineer, Laerdal Medical

Want more?

If you’re interested in knowing more about this product, please visit Laerdal Global Health – Mama Birthie for more information.

Image showing our design in action, courtesy of Laerdal Gloabl Health

Tags: Advanced CAD / CAD / Engineering / modeling / NX CAD / surface