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If a caregiver down the hall at the baby center has a suggestion, maybe for a wider fastener or a lower leg cuff, the folks in the prototype lab will mock up a version. The lab churns out 150,000 models a year, most for diapers that won’t come to market for up to a decade, and only after hundreds of iterations, said Aaron Seitz, the lab’s director.
Down the hall from Myers and her microscopes, David Maltbie is watching 3-D virtual babies on a screen that runs the width of the room, checking their virtual diapers for flaws. As a faux infant pees, Maltbie monitors how the liquid disperses through the diaper. Is it leaking? Puddling somewhere? If he spots recurring problems, he reports them to the researchers.
Then it’s back to the drawing board. Again.
Because babies come in so many shapes and sizes, Seitz says "fitting a diaper is like trying to fit a snowflake."
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