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SQ.LINE Reinventing Surgical Instruments

SQ.LINE Reinventing Surgical Instruments
Red Dot Design Award
IF Design Award 2020

B. Braun Aesculap 2019
SQ.Line - Basic Orthopedic Instrument Set

The Basic Orthopedic Instrument Set includes a series of simple instruments used in the course of joint replacement surgeries and similar complex surgical procedures. They are designed to be durable and 100% thorough reprocessing is one of the most important requirements. During long operations, surgeons and operating room staff sometimes have to work in uncomfortable or strenuous positions, which can lead to physical exhaustion, muscle tension and back pain. Perfect ergonomics of the instruments is particularly important here.


Aesculap wanted to modernize and harmonize its product range of a total of 270 surgical orthopedic instruments and set new standards for hygiene, user-friendliness, and functionality.


Joint workshops were held to explore the application. The design process included iterative development cycles with rapid prototyping and biannual user tests. Stainless steel and matte finish ensuring optimal hygiene and sustainability.


The SQ.line instrument set features a unibody design with rounded shapes and a uniform surface structure. The design sets new standards for usability and reprocessing and has been awarded two prestigious design prizes.

SQ.Line - Basic Orthopedic Instrument Set

Mission: Create order

The B. Braun subsidiary Aesculap in Tuttlingen has teamed up with the WILDDESIGN team to accompany the revision and harmonization of product families that have grown over many decades. The leading supplier of surgical instruments wants to set new standards in terms of usability. Even a mammoth task sometimes begins with the first step: with the category of basic orthopaedic instruments (approx. 270 individual instruments) for knee and hip endoprosthesis.

‍"Surgical instruments that convey their purpose spontaneously and intuitively and are uncompromisingly functional in design - that's what Aesculap instruments are supposed to be."

‍GerhardFrey, Marketing Sterile Good Management & Laparoscopy at Aesculap

Unibody design

Flowing rounded shapes without edges and shoulders characterize the formal concept, ensure optimum reprocessing and guarantee that the grip areas adapt ergonomically to the user's hand. Where to reach is marked by a uniform structure and can be grasped intuitively.

Stainless steel and hollow handle

The basic orthopaedic instruments are made exclusively of stainless steel, either in the milling process or in the so-called hollow handle process, in which volumes are welded together from embossed half-shells. The matt surface finish is optimized for reprocessing and ensures extensive freedom from glare in the operating room. In terms of sustainability, the new products are top.


The SQ-line instrument set marks the start of a uniform design for the entire portfolio. To this end, an extensive definition of recognition and design features was carried out after implementation in series production. Style guide documents, the so-called Corporate Product Perception (CPP) help the developers to ensure a consistent product appearance.

Consistent product appearance
Consistent product appearance

Workshops help understand

At the beginning of the collaboration, the Aesculap in-house development team and the Wild designers met for several workshops to explore the functionalities and variety of surgical instruments. Materiality and manufacturing processes were still open at the beginning, although months of preliminary studies showed that manufacturing from one piece of steel was possible.

User centered design

The form-finding process oscillated back and forth between the teams in Tuttlingen and Gelsenkirchen. Several iterative development loops and large-scale biannual user tests with international participants brought certainty to the development and ensured ever-improving ergonomics.

Together with the WILDDESIGN team, Aesculap was able to set more than innovative impulses, through the total focus on functionality. In particular, the intuitive ergonomics of the new products are repeatedly highlighted in practice. At the same time, the design result also impresses with high sustainability, which is unparalleled.

Aesculap AG Inhouse Design Team: Jörg Hinrich Timmermann, Stefan Gaßner
: Felix Pott, Benedikt Glöß, Tim Meier, Oliver Koszel, Benjamin Goetze, Markus Wild

Services & Methods
: Workshops, Industrial Design, User Research, 24 Design Factors, Rapid Prototyping, IP Support, Design Management.

User-centered product design
IF Design Award 2020

"The basic orthopaedic instruments are made exclusively of stainless steel. The matt surface finish is optimized for reprocessing and ensures extensive freedom from glare in the operating room. The symmetrical alignment of the instruments provides a clear orientation for correct use. Flowing, rounded shapes provide an ergonomic feel and ensure that they adapt perfectly to the user's hand. The grip areas can be intuitively grasped thanks to extended surfaces and a uniform structure. Jury statement Uncompromising in its materiality, the basic orthopaedic instrument set impresses with its outstanding ergonomic and sustainable properties."

Original text of the IF Design Award 2018 in English
Uniform design of the entire portfolio

Testimonial image
Contact person WILDDESIGN

"Consistent design is proof that everyone involved pulled together and followed a common idea!"

Your contact person for the project

Oliver Koszel

Chief Operating Officer

+49 209 702 642 00