Today’s 3D Printing News Briefs features some of the latest happenings in medical, business, and education 3D printing news. Nanoscribe is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, while an industry expert weighs in on the latest FDA 3D printing guidance, EIT and HCA have signed an agreement for 3D printed interbody products, and Aprecia is teaming up with another pharmaceutical company to develop 3D printed orphan drugs. After putting the Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printer to work, a Spanish aerospace and engineering company is welcoming some new business, and Polish 3D printer manufacturer Graften is expanding its 3D printers to the UK market. Education is in focus as a community college in Kentucky is offering an additive manufacturing certification course. Finally, Tinkercad and MyMiniFactory are running a Christmas 3D design challenge, to round out our roundup on a fun note.
Nanoscribe Celebrating Tenth Anniversary
German 3D printer manufacturer Nanoscribe GmbH, a spin-off of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), is celebrating a very important anniversary – it was founded on this day 10 years ago. Nanoscribe has grown exponentially over the last decade, now serving over 1,000 users and enjoying double-digit million revenues for the last three years, and is now a 3D printing leader in both the nano- and micrometer scales. The award-winning company, which places a high priority on connecting science and industry, has expanded its number of employees by 25% CAGR over the last five years, and has set new standards in the microfabrication field, so its users can fabricate macroscopic 3D objects at the micrometer scale.
“We took the unknown technology of two-photon-polymerization out of a research niche,” said Nanoscribe Co-Founder Prof. Dr. Martin Wegener, professor at the Institute of Applied Physics and director of the Institute for Nanotechnology at KIT. “Because of the great interest, as well as the high technical complexity, the idea emerged to make this capacity available as a commercial product to laboratories around the world.”
The company is looking ahead to the future, with plans to move into a new building at the KIT Campus North within the next two years.
3D Printing Industry Expert Laura Gilmour Makes Statement on New FDA GuidanceLast week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidance on the technical aspects of 3D printing for medical device manufacturers, and people in the 3D printing industry are starting to comment. Industry expert Laura Gilmour, who once worked at the FDA reviewing and clearing orthopedic devices, is the Medical Account Manager of EOS North America, and oversees over 20 medical device OEMs and contract manufacturers that use EOS technology. She spent 15 years as a biomedical research and development engineer and worked with EOS in a customer capacity until joining the company last year. Gilmour, who will be speaking at our upcoming AM Strategies summit, is more than qualified to offer industry commentary on the FDA’s new 3D printing guidance.
“The FDA finalizing their technical guidance document on additive manufacturing means a lot for the industry, since the medical sector was an early adopter of additive manufacturing for device production,” Gilmour said. “As the wording in this document confirms, the FDA recognizes the importance of the interaction between material, machine, and process for a quality part; this is already a central pillar of the way EOS develops processes and supports our customers. EOS’s rigorously tested systems give manufacturers in the medical field the ability to change variables in the process while maintaining the guidance given by the FDA. It is refreshing to see the U.S. regulatory body acknowledge the importance of material, machine and process interaction to provide high quality medical devices to patients.”
EIT and HCA Announce Agreement
Medical device manufacturer Emerging Implant Technologies (EIT), headquartered in Germany and focused on 3D printed spinal solutions, has completed the contracting process with HealthTrust related to its new agreement with HCA, the largest GPO in the US. The company can now offer all of its 3D printed interbody products, which are made with its 3D printed porous Cellular Titanium structures, for ALIF, Cervical, PLIF, and TLIF procedures in HCA’s 177 hospitals and 119 surgery centers. The approval of the contract, which will help EIT continue its “aggressive growth pattern” in the country, was pursued and completed by Ortho Sales Partners (OSP). EIT is also working to finalize an action plan with HCA’s leadership to fully understand the economic impact its technology will have on implant costs, fusion rates, and osteobiologics.
“EIT´s goal is to improve spine care using the advantages of 3D printing technology and cope with given pricing and reimbursement structures,” explained EIT’s CEO and Co-Founder Guntmar Eisen. “We are delighted that HCA/HealthTrust is interested in working with EIT. This will help us to get quicker market access in the United States.”
Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Enters Partnership to Develop 3D Printed Orphan Drugs
In order to develop and commercialize 3D printed orphan drugs, which are pharmaceutical agents developed specifically to treat rare medical conditions known as “orphans,” Aprecia Pharmaceuticals and Cycle Pharmaceuticals have signed a partnership agreement. The products the two companies plan to develop will deliver better quality of life improvements to rare disease patients than the existing orphan drugs, thanks to Aprecia’s proprietary 3D printed ZipDose Technology platform, which is the only 3D printing technology used in a pharmaceutical drug product that’s been approved by the FDA.
“Many rare disease patients do not have a treatment option at all. For those rare diseases where there is an approved pharmaceutical treatment, patients continue to be burdened by sub-optimal drug formulations,” explained Cycle CEO Antonio Benedetti. “Aprecia’s ZipDose 3DP technology can formulate fast-melt pharmaceutical products, incorporating significantly higher amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredient than any other fast-melt technology on the market. As such, this advanced technology can uniquely overcome both pill burden and dysphagia – swallowing difficulties – both of which are life-long, daily issues for so many rare disease patients.”
Indaero Uses Stratasys 3D Printers to Get New BusinessSpanish aerospace and engineering company Indaero manufactures aircraft panels for Airbus, as well as its suppliers, and invested in a Fortus 450mc Production 3D printer from Stratasys. This was a good move, as it allows the company to differentiate itself from the rest of the competition by offering 3D printed lightweight, complex tools with curved geometries and an end-to-end design to production service. Stratasys recently announced that after Indaero used its FDM 3D printing technology, and ULTEM 9085 material, to transform its complex tool production, the company gained new business with several Tier 1 and Tier 2 Airbus suppliers.
“Aerospace is unlike other industries, producing high volumes of tools. To traditionally manufacture production tools, injection molding or CNC machining would be used, but this would be very time-consuming and costly. With our Fortus 450mc 3D Printer, we can service low-volume production quickly and cost-effectively, producing many different tools on-demand to accelerate the manufacturing process and ensure we meet customer delivery deadlines,” said Darío González Fernández, CEO of Indaero.
“The importance of the ULTEM 9085 material cannot be understated either. It has become an integral part of our production process, as it is certified for aerospace and well known by our customer Airbus for a number of aircraft applications. With its unique combination of high strength-to-weight ratio and FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) certification, we can 3D print robust, lightweight tools and respond to short run production of flying parts if required – giving us a unique advantage versus competition.”
Graften One 3D Printer Moves to the UK Market
Professional 3D printer manufacturer Graften, based in Poland, premiered its flagship Graften One 3D printer this June during the European Championship in motorcycle racing, as the Graften Motorsport team uses the company’s 3D printing technology to build its motorcycles. The innovative Graften One uses FFF technology, offers remote access through WiFi, and has two configurations, the M1 and the M2. According to the company, it is an “ideal module to create a 3D printers farm,” and is used in the education, industry, and service sectors.
Graften launched a partnership program for Polish retailers of its 3D printing products, including the Graften One, and is now expanding the program to the UK market. The program is based on several important points, including high margins of up to 50%. The company will support its retailers with original, unique marketing, and retailers can also receive a small discount for Graften’s 3D printers, which are typically shipped out within two business days after an order is placed.
Community College in Kentucky First to Offer AM Certification Course
Over the next 10 years, the market potential for 3D printing technology is estimated to be between $230 and $550 billion. As 3D printing continues to permeate multiple industries, it’s vitally important to provide training in the technology, especially in places like Kentucky, which lists aerospace and automotive parts as its top two exports. Somerset Community College (SCC), which was the first higher education institution in Kentucky to offer the statewide certificate in additive manufacturing, announced that its first group completed the certification this fall.
According to the Digital Printing Technology course listing at SCC, the AM certificate consists of five classes, which include design, business, and individual hands-on projects. SCC students who successfully complete the coursework and receive their 3D Printing Technician certificate will be, as SCC puts its, “poised to take the lead in this technology across the state.” To learn more about the program, you can download the Program Overview here.
Tinkercad and MyMiniFactory Host Christmas 3D Design Challenge
3D design software tool Tinkercad and 3D printable object-sharing platform MyMiniFactory have teamed up up for their third 3D design challenge, which calls on designers to reinvent Christmas and bring it into the 21st century. The #TinkerChristmas 3D design challenge is already running, and pushes creativity to the max with questions like, “What would Santa’s sleigh look like if was built today?”
The design brief reads, “It’s been nearly 200 years since ‘The Night Before Christmas’ was written and we want you to update the myth of Santa – with all his tools and decorations – for the next century.”
Contestants need to upload their Christmas-inspired 3D designs to MyMiniFactory from within Tinkercad by this Friday, December 15th. The winner will receive a prize worth over $2,000: a Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D printer and filament. Second place is a Creality CR-10 3D printer, and the third place winner will receive a Startt 3D printer. Once your model has been uploaded to MyMiniFactory, remember to share it to Twitter with the hashtag #TinkerChristmas, and tag MyMiniFactory and Tinkercad. Check out the competition entries page to see the 3D printable Christmas designs that have already been posted.
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