The use of 3D printing in the healthcare space – especially medical devices – is rapidly accelerating. In fact, a report by Market Data Forecast, “Global Medical Device 3D Printing Market,” says that the global medical device 3D printing market was worth $826 million in 2015 and is on track to reach $2368 million in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.45 percent.
“3D printing is quite possibly the next greatest chapter in the industrial uprising, and the technology is moving rapidly. 3D printing technology has the potential to radically transform the way medical devices are used to treat patients. It will impact health care in many ways, including implantable and non-implantable medical devices, along with cost-effective customizable devices,” a summary of the report says on the Market Data Forecast website.
There is especially an increase for demand in patient-specific products in orthopedics and maxillofacial surgery. This is an area where 3D printing can be especially helpful.
Some healthcare/medical device companies that are focused on 3D printing include: Concept Laser GmBH, Prodways, 3T RPD, Arcam AB, Materialise NV, EnvisionTEC GmbH, EnvisionTEC, EOS GmbH, Electro Optical Systems, Renishaw plc, Stratasys Ltd. and 3D Systems Corp.
Here’s a look at five recent 3D printing developments in the healthcare/medical device industry:
1.Think3D Wins India Bid: 3D printing platform think3D, with its headquarters in India, recently won a bid by the country to create a new $6 million 3D-printing facility in Andhra Pradesh’s Medical Tech Zone (PMTZ).
The medical device zone was “founded to encourage medical device manufacturers to set up shop in India, as part of the central government’s Make In India initiative, which was launched two years ago as a means of transforming the country into a global manufacturing and design hub,” according to a story from 3DPrint.com.
Seventy-five percent of the country’s medical devices are currently imported. The goal of this Tech Zone is to increase medical device manufacturing in the country of India.
2. K2M Gets Clearance for Interbody System: K2M Group Holdings, based in Leesburg, Va., has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the Mojave PL 3D Expandable Interbody System, a 3D printed expandable posterior-lumbar interbody system.
According to a news release from K2M, “The MOJAVE PL 3D Expandable Interbody System is a fusion device designed to allow for independent control of the anterior and posterior height in the lumbar spine, a new capability not available with any other product in the market today. Featuring infinite adjustment within the expansion range, the implant may be locked at any desired height and lordosis to aid in the restoration of sagittal balance.”
The system uses K2M’s Lamellar 3D Titanium Technology, which uses titanium powder, a laser beam and complex internal geometries and rough surface architecture. Read more.
3. Stryker, GE Form Additive Partnership: Medical device company Stryker, based in Kalamazoo, Mich., and GE Additive have entered a partnership for “new additive machines, materials and services for Stryker’s global supply chain operations,” according to an announcement made at GE’s Minds + Machine’s event.
“GE and Stryker share a similar vision and both of us understand the transformative power of additive design and manufacturing,” said Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive. “We regard Stryker as one of the most experienced practitioners of metal additive, with a range of commercialized medical products. We will continue to innovate with new additive products, materials, and technologies, which will support their growth.”
Both companies have significant histories in terms of working on additive manufacturing. Stryker began its foray into additive manufacturing in 2001 and has worked with universities on 3D printing for the healthcare industry. In addition, GE has been focused on additive manufacturing for the last decade, investing well over $1.5 billion investment over that time and forming GE Additive in 2016. Read more.
4. 3D Systems Starts Partner Program: Medical device manufacturer 3D Systems has launched a certified partner program for medical device additive manufacturing firms, according to an article from 3DPrint.com. 3D Systems’ first partner is supplier rms Company, located near Minneapolis. Rms will use 3D Systems’ Direct Metal Printing technology to design, develop and manufacture medical implants.
“This partnership provides our mutual customers with access to the 3D printing, machining and secondary processing capabilities of two market leaders. Working together we have created a world-class service center for the manufacture of medical implants,” said Lee Zachman, President of rms Company. “With the support of our parent company, Cretex, we will have the resources to rapidly invest and grow our capacity to meet the increasing needs of our customers. The ability to print parts, add machined features and perform secondary processing in one location provides our customers with a speed to market advantage that is hard to parallel.”
5. Materialise Provides 3D Printing, Imaging for Clinical Trials: Surgeons and medical device companies are using solutions from Materialise to carry out clinical trials using its 3D printing services and software.
“With Materialise 3D imaging and printing solutions, surgeons and device companies are able to analyze and select ideal patients for clinical trials, based on their anatomy. Once patients have been selected, medical professionals can use 3D printed, patient-specific anatomical models to develop surgical plans and workflows to prepare for and treat complex cases, resulting in a positive impact on patient care,” says a release from the company.
“The use of 3D imaging to accurately screen patients and 3D printed anatomical models to plan for the procedure will allow hospitals to quickly and accurately determine patient’s qualifications for trials and future procedures. By implementing the Materialise software, hospitals will be able to scale their 3D printing solutions, knowing they are working with a trusted partner in the medical device field.”
Read more from HFHS in an exclusive interview.