Prototype Projects produces over one million parts for the DnaCartridge


Prototype Projects says: "We make prototypes but when a customer needed a boost in production, we delivered the goods. We've now produced over 1,000,000 parts which, given our remit as a prototyping company, is something of an achievement!"

The team writes:

As our company name suggests we make prototypes. Mostly, the numbers we make are small – one or two offs mainly, then 10 offs and sometimes 50-100.

In our 40+ year history we have also done up to 1,000 offs, but nothing more. Until now.

A few years ago, The Technology Partnership (TTP) approached us with a project to make a small part. Just like all the other parts we have made for TTP over the many years of our relationship, the functionality of the part was critical. Running over a few years, we made several thousand in various batch sizes.

About the product

We worked on the prototyping of the single-use test cartridge which is used in the NudgeBox, a product developed by TTP on behalf of its client, DnaNudge.

The NudgeBox and test cartridge are used to extract DNA from an individual’s cheek swab. The DNA sample is then used to identify nutrition-related health traits and, therefore, recommend personalised food products based on the individual’s DNA.

As well as our work on the cartridge, we also made various prototypes of the case work of the NudgeBox itself.

Production challenge

The project then moved over to DnaNudge’s nominated production supplier, as is typical with this type of project, and our involvement ended.

However, later in 2020, DnaNudge needed our help again to support faster scaling of their production in providing their rapid, lab-free CovidNudge RT-PCR test, while in parallel working on the implementation of a long-term high throughput solution.

Of course, we swiftly jumped on board.

One million parts

Within a short timeframe, we produced over 1,000,000 parts and ensured DnaNudge has a massively scalable capacity in place. For us, this is something of an achievement, given the remit of our company.

Justin Pringle, MD of Prototype Projects, said:

“We’re extremely proud to have supported the production of this part for the DnaCartridge. Our work on the NudgeBox and DnaCartridge led onto us prototyping and industrialising various parts of CovidNudge – a rapid, lab-free COVID-19 RT-PCR test developed by DnaNudge with support from TTP.”

Oliver North of TTP, said:

“Prototype Projects can be relied upon at the most testing of times. The team deliver the highest quality parts at great speed and have a wide range of expertise in component manufacture. Prototype Projects’ ability to ramp up production and help with such a critically important product was invaluable, especially during the situation we all found ourselves in during the pandemic. Their supply of components for the test cartridge has helped DnaNudge to deliver the CovidNudge test to hospitals across the country.”

About The Technology Partnership (TTP)

TTP is an independent technology company where scientists and engineers collaborate to invent, design and develop new products and technologies. Working across a wide spectrum of industries including health, telecoms, industrials and consumer, TTP creates breakthrough solutions that bring strong commercial value to clients and the benefits of technology to all.

About DnaNudge

DnaNudge is the developer of the world’s first service to use consumers’ own DNA plus lifestyle factors to nudge people towards healthier choices while shopping. The DnaNudge service analyses and maps users’ genetic profile to key nutrition-related health traits such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, enabling customers to be guided by their DNA towards healthier eating. The service has been developed by world-renowned biomedical engineer Regius Professor Chris Toumazou FRS and published geneticist Dr Maria Karvela.

This ground-breaking in-store DNA testing service created to address an epidemic – obesity and Type 2 diabetes – has now been successfully adapted for the fight against a pandemic, with the development of the rapid, lab-free CovidNudge RT-PCR test. CovidNudge can accurately detect COVID-19 and other viruses in just over an hour, without the need for a laboratory, and is now in use in the UK’s NHS.


Prototype Projects, established in 1980, is a specialist in the manufacture of prototypes. The company is experienced in 3D Printing, CNC Machining, Rapid Prototyping, Model Making and Additive Manufacturing. The company is located in Royston, Hertfordshire.

Prototype Projects Ltd