Vermont Rapid Prototyping

Providing rapid prototyping services to inventors and businesses.

Ampoule Openers

I have been working with a customer for some time now. He wanted to create a system for opening and managing glass ampoules safely and efficiently.

An ampoule is a small sealed glass tube that contains a liquid (usually a drug of some sort). Ampoules look like this:


To access the liquid inside, you must break the head off of the ampoule. Since the ampoules are supposedly designed for this, the head can be snapped off using the fingers, but sometimes the neck breaks to pieces or the entire ampoule shatters. This can cause injuries to the operator as well as exposure to the contents of the ampoule. Clearly, holding an ampoule in your hand while you are opening it not a great plan.

There are many types of ampoule openers available, but we wanted a safer design. With our design, the user only touches the ampoule when loading it into the base platform. With the ampoule in place, the opener is placed over the ampoule and slid down until a click is heard. When the opener is lifted off of the ampoule and base, the ampoule is open and the neck of the ampoule is retained in the body of the opener, ready for disposal into a sharps container. One of the new openers and bases is shown below.


Patent applied for, by the customer!