5 key developments in 3D printing technology

Shayna Korol -   Print  |

In 2015, Gartner predicted that medical 3D printing would drive additive manufacturing into the mainstream. Here are five key recent developments in 3D-printed implants, according to engineering.com.

1. In August 2018, Osseus Fusion Systems received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Aries 3D-printed lumbar interbody fusion devices. The Aries devices are produced using Osseus’ proprietary 3D printing platform PL3XUZ. The patient-specific devices have an 80 percent porosity, and their proprietary mesh lattice design is intended to reduce implant stiffness while encouraging bone cell growth.

2. Among all implant types, 3D-printed orthopedic devices may be the most common due in part to GE Additive subsidiary Arcam. More than 100,000 hip cups have been produced since 2007 using Arcam’s electron beam melting technology.

3. LimaCorporate performed the world’s first 3D-printed hip implant surgery; the implant was made using EBM. LimaCorporate also partnered with New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery to establish the first additive manufacturing facility for customized implants in a hospital environment. Expected to open in 2020, LimaCorporate will operate the new site and serve hospitals across the U.S. along with developing new products.

4. Endocon developed a 3D printing device for extracting hip cups. The endoCupcut includes blades printed with GE Additive’s Mlab cusing 100R system. The blades are designed to slice along the edge of the acetabular cup so surgeons can loosen and remove hip cups before implanting a new hip cup.

Surgeons can choose from 15 blade sizes. Using 3D printing has reduced rejection rate from 30 percent with cast blades to 3 percent with 3D-printed stainless-steel blades. It has also reduced cost per blade by 40 percent to 45 percent, according to the report.

5. Seattle-based Veteran Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System partnered with GE Healthcare to 3D print patient-specific models at various VA locations nationwide.

More articles on surface technology:
VA expands 3D printing network: 3 things to know
New copper implant designed to treat bone infection without antibiotics: 4 insights
Flexible fixation & 3D printing drive orthopedic trauma market: 3 developments

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