3D Printing News Briefs, August 11, 2020: 3DEO, Nexa3D, AK Medical


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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, 3DEO has won a design competition, and Nexa3D will be demonstrating its expanded line of ultra-fast polymers at this week’s AM Industry Summit. Finally, AK Medical in China is using GE Additive’s Arcam electron beam melting technology to enable customized orthopedic surgery at scale.

3DEO Wins at Design Excellence Awards

3DEO’s winning part, the “Anchor Link”

California-based 3DEO, a high-volume production supplier of stainless steel components in the aerospace, consumer product, defense, and medical device industries, recently participated in the 2020 Design Excellence Award Competition, and announced that it has won the Design Excellence Award for its metal 3D printed production component, called the “anchor link,” fabricated with its patented AM technology. The international trade association for metal powder industries, MPIF, sponsors the competition, which aims to recognize the efforts of companies using metal AM to push new designs, technologies, and commercial successes. According to 3DEO CEO Matt Petros, PhD, it’s pretty exciting that its winning component is not a prototype, but actually a high-volume, affordable production part.

“We are honored to receive this award of distinction from MPIF. It is a terrific accomplishment for 3DEO that highlights the giant leaps we have made over the last 18 months commercializing our technology,” said the company’s CTO and Co-Founder Payman Torabi, PhD.

“3D printing is an incredible modern tool with a lot of advantages. You can’t utilize all its potential powers with an outdated mindset or approach. We as engineers, designers, builders, and innovators need to start rethinking our methods so all of humanity can witness and benefit from a new industrial revolution.

“With production customers in diverse industries and applications such as aerospace, defense, medical devices, and consumer products, 3DEO is well on its way to realizing its vision to become a world-class metal parts supplier. The design award for such a high-volume production component is a terrific example of the tangible progress we are making. Thank you to MPIF for the recognition, and most importantly thank you to our customers for working side-by-side with us to change the world of manufacturing together.”

Nexa3D Introducing Expanded Ultra-Fast Polymers at AM Industry Summit

xMED412 example

Moving on to another event, Nexa3D announced that it will be showing off its expanded range of high-speed polymer materials, including its new eco-friendly xCLEAN solvent, xMED412 for 3D printing biocompatible medical and wearable devices, and high-performance xCE-Black, at ASME’s virtual AM Industry Summit this week. In addition to demonstrating how its products are “breaking speed, productivity and performance barriers,” the company will also be unveiling the Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS) 3D printers for mass production, which belong to its recently acquired NXT Factory. Finally, Nexa3D will also showcase its continuing collaboration with ParaMatters at the summit, revealing how the two are delivering more productive digital workflows and lightweighting capabilities for applications in the aerospace and medical industries.

“We are excited to participate in ASME’s AM Industry Summit focusing on the medical and aerospace industries by showcasing our growing portfolio of polymer manufacturing solutions. This summit’s tagline ‘accelerating additive manufacturing as the catalyst to a better world’ is very timely and fits squarely with Nexa3D’s mandate. Throughout COVID-19, we’ve continued to expand our polymer additive manufacturing portfolio to be able to deliver greater speed, higher productivity and additional high performance materials for greater customer value,” stated Nexa3D’s Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO Avi Reichental.

AM Industry Summit attendees can view Nexa3D’s various demonstrations online from 8 am to 6:30 pm ET on August 11th and 12th.

AK Medical Enabling Customized Orthopedic Surgery with EBM Technology

Examples of AK Medical implants manufactured on Arcam EBM machines.

For over ten years, Beijing-based AK Medical has been using electron beam melting (EBM) AM technology, specifically eight of GE Additive’s Arcam systems, to address the expanding need for customized orthopedic implants at scale for China’s aging population. Implants made with traditional means don’t typically fit each patient’s specific needs—they’re manufactured in batches, can cause a loss in bone tissue if there’s not a good match, and many patients even require extended bed rest due to an installed external fixation device. Metal powder AM, like EBM, allows for the trabecular structure to be built directly into the part, which leads to increased osseointegration and an improved healing process. EBM also enables stacking and high melting efficiency, and negates post-heat treatment, which makes the whole thing more cost-efficient. The company was the first to be approved by the country’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to introduce metal 3D printed implants to the local market, and thanks to continued investment in R&D efforts, now has five orthopedic implants made with EBM technology that will be certified by the NMPA.

“Our aim is to serve both patients and medical experts. With our advanced products, we strive to make the treatment of orthopedic conditions more efficient and easier, while bringing about better outcomes and quicker recovery times to our patients,” said Mr. Li Zhijiang, the Chairman, CEO, and Executive Director at AK Medical.

“We have used EBM technology for more than a decade, so when we recently needed to invest in new machines, we naturally opted for the Q10plus. The Q10plus system provides a user-friendly interface, a higher precision of processing, and better-quality products. It helps us improve the cost efficiency of both standard production and small-scale customized production.”

AK Medical plans to focus primarily on AM technology from now on, and will expand its focus to additional orthopedic areas.

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