Root3 Labs

About Root3 Labs

Chad SchneiderRoot3 Labs is an engineering and product development firm. We focus on the design of medical devices and early stage technologies. We work with doctors, manufacturers, and the defense industry to turn ideas into working prototypes and prototypes into finished products. The company is a registered professional engineering firm in the State of Maryland.

Root3 Labs was founded in 2012 by Chad Schneider, P.E., a professional engineer with two decades of engineering R&D and product design experience. Mr. Schneider grew up in Maryland and was educated locally, with a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master’s of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) focused on Haptics and Medical Robotics from the Johns Hopkins University. At home and at work, Chad enjoys digging into challenging technical problems, whether that means designing a microfluidic pump from scratch to cut costs from the Bill of Materials or breathing new life into a neglected bicycle (or computer, or motorcycle, or house).

Prior to founding Root3 Labs, he worked as a project manager and/or senior engineer on the development of numerous products.

  • Project Manager of a multi-disciplinary design team tasked with developing a prototype product to induce therapeutic hypothermia based on technology licensed from The Johns Hopkins University hospital. Designed and fabricated a functional prototype to gather quantitative data on varying environmental conditions during animal research testing, providing much more accurate data to the research physician. Performed market research to determine product specifications for the commercial product and oversaw the development of concept sketches. Supervised detailed characterization of related technology to make estimates about the field capabilities of a production device.
  • Member of the design team responsible for generating and developing preliminary prototypes for the embodiment of a single-use device to perform DNA analysis. Generated concepts to introduce the microfluidic sample to the sensing region within the design constraints of the sensor technology and fabricated prototypes for testing. Worked with industrial designers to develop various user interfaces to provide a means to introduce sample fluid to the device and microfluidic channels.
  • Member of the cross-disciplinary team responsible for designing a microfluidic diagnostic medical device to analyze fluid samples using PCR in the lab. Evaluated fabrication techniques to be used in either proof-of-concept prototyping or high-volume manufacturing of single-use microfluidic chips. Assisted in the design of a manufacturing fixture to validate pre-production chips at each stage of fabrication.
  • Project Manager and member of a design team responsible for completely redesigning a calibration fixture to accurately determine proper alignment of an optical medical device. Analyzed the micron-scale tolerances and design constraints to achieve reliable positioning, orientation, and optical coupling. Designed and prototyped several concepts for multiple embodiments.
  • Member of a design team that developed a custom case to recharge and download data from up to 50 physiological sensor packs in the field. Designed the layout of all internal components as well as the 10 injection molded charging gangs to hold 5 sensors each, meeting the requirements of the customer, industrial designers, and electrical engineers. Sensors held in place with a snap detent that also provides tactile feedback that it is seated properly relative to the charging and communication contacts. Entire unit is IP67 when closed and designed to meet IEC60950.
  • A member of the design team responsible for creating a pair of devices to accurately prepare and inject a drug during brain surgery. Designed an IPx1-rated, thermoformed enclosure that rotates, tilts, and locks while providing a wire-path between two electrical control boards and a display unit and the main hardware enclosure. Integrated highly-accurate syringe drivers and analyzed all tolerances to exceed strict volumetric accuracy requirements. Created verification and validation protocols for each device and conducted environmental and safety testing to show compliance with IEC60601 and FDA medical device standards.
  • Member of the design team for development of the award-winning Ultracrit™ device, a handheld device that quickly and accurately measures patient hematocrit. Designed a high-tolerance microfluidic pump capable of reliably transporting microliters of blood from the sample cuvette into the measurement window. Successfully integrated shape memory alloy wire into the actuator design which dramatically reduced the overall manufacturing cost and increased battery life. Built working devices using several rapid prototyping techniques including SLA and poured urethane. Conducted life-cycle testing and improved performance over the operational temperature range of the device. Supported clinical trials and documentation for the FDA Class II device, which is now available for use in blood banks.
  • Performed benchmarking and feasibility research during the preliminary development phase of a fiber-optic infrared coagulator for use with a colonoscope or flexible sigmoidoscope. Analyzed a broad range of commercial light engines and fiber-optic cables for compatibility with the demanding power and thermal requirements of the medical procedure. Also studied a variety of lamps, reflector materials and shapes, focusing lenses, and fiber-optic materials to determine the feasibility of custom components to
    meet the required optical characteristics.
  • Designed a quiet, point-of-care air-cooling system to replace a high-power floor blower on a redesigned set of robotic arms for microwave ablation of cancerous cell within the breast. Designed and drafted the electrical enclosure, sourced the fan-controller, fans, and components, and integrated the system into the dual-arm system.
  • Designed multiple systems for pointing a laser at a specific part on a customer’s component to support the research and development efforts of a large computer hard-drive OEM. The four degree-of-freedom systems all fit within very small physical constraints and have the capability of changing the angle of the incident laser with micro-radian precision while still maintaining the position of the spot to less than one micron. This work included the design of high-tolerance machined parts, integration with  ultra high-precision optical and motion actuators in clean room environments, development of kinematic models of the laser path, design of the control system, and system integration and testing.
  • Designed an extremely rugged inline diagnostic instrument to detect the ingredient concentration in a liquid slurry and alert the user to deviations in real time. Created the waterproof, aluminum enclosure to house and protect the sensing hardware and electronic data collection/transmission boards for use in a harsh environment. The instrument can survive a 3 foot drop and 1000 psi line pressure. Also designed the central control box to house the data analysis computer and user interface. Converted a rough working prototype into a production-capable sensor.
  • Designed and fabricated a prototype robotic device to precisely insert a needle into the human prostate under trans-rectal ultrasound guidance. Modeled soft-tissue deformation of the prostate to enhance open-loop accuracy. Work was performed in collaboration with the JHU Engineering Research Center for Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology.
  • Member of the design team responsible for the design of an optical platform to facilitate applied research related to the biology of fruit flies. Designed the mounting hardware to position electrical components, fly subjects, cameras, lighting, and multiple linear stages as well as ensure stable alignment. Managed and reviewed the mechanical and industrial design team.

Conrad_headshotConrad Laskowski joined Root3 Labs in 2015 as a Senior Mechanical Engineer with 7 years of experience in R&D and product design. Conrad’s passion for creation was first sparked using his grandfather’s tools while growing up in New Jersey. After sharpening his skills at the University of Maryland, Conrad gained professional experience designing and testing engineering solutions in the medical industry, with an emphasis on microfluidics. Most recently, Mr. Laskowski was the Lead Mechanical Engineer for a company specializing in wearable indoor mapping and tracking technology for government and public safety personnel. Interestingly, he even has the rare distinction of appearing on several issued US Patents as “Inventor”, but on a separate issued US Patent as “Examiner”. Outside of engineering, Conrad is a competitive runner with the Falls Road Racing Team and USATF Level I Certified Coach.

Andrey Jasiukaitis is a Senior Mechanical Engineer with over 14 years of extensive professional experience, including new product research and development (R&D), product design and improvement, and product management from concept to manufacturing. He has over five years of experience in medical device industry, including design, testing, rapid prototyping, verification and validation, and design release to manufacturing in accordance with the FDA requirements. Andrey was born in Vilnius, Lithuania and received a BS in Engineering of Transport Technological Systems from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. He is also a certified SolidWorks Professional in Mechanical Design (CSWP). In his spare time, Andrey enjoys fishing, camping, biking, and spending time with family.

Christina KruegerChristina Krueger is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. While in school, Christina traveled to Suma Ahenkro, Ghana on UMCP’s Engineers without Borders team to install solar panels on a boarding school. She also worked in the BioInspired Advanced Manufacturing Lab with Dr. Ryan Sochol creating 3D printed microscale structures to study cell physicobiology. Outside of work, Christina enjoys training for marathons, walking dogs, hiking, skiing, and crafting.

Strategic Partnerships

Francisco Tejada, Ph.D. has been involved in the design and testing of VLSI circuits for over 10 years and has published numerous related papers on the subject as well as a patent application. Dr. Tejada has been involved in the implementation of over 20 ASIC designs and has performed extensive testing and characterization of the designs once they were fabricated.

Dr. Tejada is the President and Founder of Sensing Machines, a consulting company that provides a wide range of analog, digital, and mixed signal engineering design services, including integrated circuit (IC & ASIC) design, printed circuit board design and layout, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design, and electronics packaging solutions. In addition, Dr. Tejada has served as an Adjunct Assistant Research Scientist in the Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.

ramp-md-logoRoot3 Labs is a Member Partner of the Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of MD (RAMP MD), a consortium of private businesses, regional universities, and governmental agencies whose goal is to expand Maryland’s capabilities in additive manufacturing. As a Partner in the RAMP MD consortium, Root3 Labs gets to collaborate with one of the premier research and development laboratories in the country, located in the Advanced Design & Manufacturing group at the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland. This gives us access to some of the latest technology in additive manufacturing as well as the experience and expertise of the people at the Center.

Device Engineering & Product Development