3 inevitable innovations in materials for 3D printing orthopedics

Restor3d uses metal and polymer 3D printing for orthopedic implants, anatomical models and surgical tools and guides. [Photo courtesy of Formlabs]

3D printing for orthopedics is one of the most promising applications of additive manufacturing for medical devices.

3D printing is already used to manufacture orthopedic implants and tools by device developers as large as Stryker — the world’s biggest orthopedics manufacturer — and startups like Restor3d.

A few key innovations in 3D printing materials will enable even better orthopedic devices in the future.

And it’s not a matter of if, but when, said Restor3d SVP of Product Development Nathan Evans, who identified three next-generation materials advances he’s looking forward to for 3D printing orthopedics.

“I think they’re all going to happen,” he said in an interview with Medical Design & Outsourcing. &#…

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Advances in resin 3D printing you should put to work today

If you’ve looked at resin 3D printing in the past and aren’t currently taking advantage, it’s worth another look.

By Chris Danek, Bessel and Trion Concepts

3D printing has long been a staple for rapid prototyping of medical devices. Recent advances in additive manufacturing with resin cure systems have greatly expanded the capabilities available — in many cases, right on the R&D engineer’s desktop.

We now have resins that behave similarly to engineering thermoplastics like ABS, polycarbonate and even elastomeric materials. And print speeds and resolutions have increased dramatically.

Together, these advanced materials and improved printing mean resin printers can produce highly functional parts and high-fidelity prototypes to iterate designs for short-run production and as a bridge to injection-molded tools. Let’s explore how medical device manufacturers are using these advancements to innovate the traditional design and production process.

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3D-printed orthopedic implant benefits also present challenges

Restor3d uses metal and polymer 3D printing for orthopedic implants, anatomical models and surgical tools and guides. [Photo courtesy of Formlabs]

3D-printed orthopedic implant personalization and manufacturing abilities introduce new considerations for device developers.

3D-printed orthopedic implants are increasingly being used for patient personalization and features that improve osseointegration.

Faster, better and more affordable additive manufacturing technology is driving that adoption for ortho implant developers and manufacturers like Restor3d.

“The thing I’m most excited about is doubling down on this thesis that people deserve personalized implants — and that it’s actually possible now,” said Nathan Evans, SVP of product development at Restor3d. “Twenty years ago, it wasn’t possible. Ten years ago, people started doing it, but it wasn’t cost-effect…

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EOS, Tecomet, OIC and Precision ADM ink additive manufacturing collaboration

EOS, Tecomet, Orthopaedic Innovation Centre (OIC) and Precision ADM announced a new additive manufacturing partnership.

The partnership aims to offer an end-to-end solution for medical device additive manufacturing. It includes a full range of services, such as front-end engineering and design services and FDA 510(k) approval pathways. The companies also plan to offer device and machine validation, pre-clinical testing and commercialization services.

According to the companies, the complete solution the partnership allows for a significant reduction in product development lead time for medical OEMs. It could also reduce time to market and overall risk while leveraging the innovations of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.

Each company in the partnership offers strengths and industry knowledge to deliver a seamless, turnkey solution for medical device 3D printing. EOS offers both metal and polymer additive manufacturing while Tecomet specializes in ma…

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What’s new in 3D printing: medical devices, research, innovation, automation and partnerships

This 3D-printed robotic heart can simulate how a specific cardiac patient will benefit from different valve implants.[Image courtesy of Melanie Gonick/MIT]

3D printing is helping more patients than ever before through personalized medical devices, faster and cheaper prototyping and more affordable manufacturing.

Recent developments include research into tissue and organ regeneration, lightning-fast responses to supply chain shortages, wearables that improve patient treatment, and major investments by device manufacturers.

Here are some of the 3D printing advances that show what the future may hold.


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Affordable 3D-printed medical devices reach commercialization

Medical prints made with Formlabs 3D printers [Photo courtesy of Formlabs]

3D printer accessibility and affordability are enabling small device firms to develop and market a wave of personalized devices.

Gaurav Manchanda, Formlabs

Healthcare is becoming more efficient, and patients are beginning to expect a personalized approach. 3D printing isn’t a newly minted manufacturing technology, yet it’s reached an inflection point for bringing change in healthcare and dental applications.

Traditionally, 3D printing was prohibitively expensive and only available to the largest, best-resourced medical centers and device manufacturers. But these days, 3D printers have become more affordable and accessible. As a result, additive manufacturing is surging in healthcare as medical providers and device manufacturers tap into the ability to safely produce novel, patient-specific, biocompatible and sterilizable parts…

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What is microscale 3D printing? Lessons learned from Mayo Clinic

These 3D printed microneedles — viewed through a scanning electron microscope — are pictured next to a traditional 29-gauge hypodermic needle. A human hair is approximately as wide as the 100 micron scale marker in the image. [Image courtesy of Mayo Clinic]

Microscale 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize medical device development.

Seth Hara, Ph.D., and Renc Saracaydin, Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic Division of Engineering is an embedded engineering team that provides engineering support and service for researchers and clinicians throughout the enterprise. To meet their needs, the engineering team has embraced the use of microscale 3D printing.

Microscale 3D printing in medical device development is still relatively new. As this technology continues to mature, the field will continue to find new and exciting opportunities to advance the practice of medicine.

As the name implies, micros…

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