Formlabs Now Available to Medical Suppliers via Vizient GPO Catalog

Formnext Germany

Share this Article

3D printing is making significant progress in the medical sector. After already making important in-roads through international approvals of 3D printed implants, additive manufacturing (AM) is now advancing into hospitals themselves. Signaling further progress is a deal between 3D printer maker Formlabs and the largest member-owned health care company in the U.S., Vizient Inc. This makes it the first AM firm listed in a major group purchasing organization (GPO) catalog.

Formlabs technology has been validated in multiple FDA 510(k) cleared processes for making surgical tools, with its printers and medical device materials included in more than 1,500 publications in the field of surgery. The company achieved a major milestone during the COVID-19 pandemic when its equipment was used to 3D print nasal swabs (over 70,000, to be specific) and BiPAP adapters. New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, Northwell Health, was using Form 2 stereolithography 3D printers and a Formcell mass production system within its facilities to produce these items en masse.

Full build trays of nasal swabs being 3D printed on Formlabs machines. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

Now, Formlabs 3D printers, materials and other solutions have entered Vizient’s GPO catalog for use in converting CT/MR imaging data into 3D printed, patient-specific anatomical replicas for surgical planning, implant sizing, and patient education. GPOs allow member customers access to group-buying power to purchase goods at a discounted rate. They are responsible for 72 percent of all purchases made by hospitals. 97 percent of hospitals are associated with one more GPOs. Vizient itself works with over half of healthcare organizations in the U.S., including about 97 percent of academic medical centers.

Medical parts 3D printed with Formlabs machines. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

Established as Voluntary Hospitals of America Inc. (VHA) in 1977, the company grew to encompass 5,000 not-for-profit health system members, including 1,360 acute care hospitals. Merging with University HealthSystem Consortium in 2015, the corporation changed its name to Vizient in 2016. Through ownership of aptitude, Vizient had the industry’s first online direct market for local medical supply contracting. Its ownership of Provista allowed it to serve the non-acute medical market, government, education and business with medical supplies.

“The inclusion of the Formlabs technology ecosystem in the Vizient catalog signals an inflection point for 3D printing in the healthcare industry,” said Gaurav Manchanda, director of medical market development at Formlabs. “As the first 3D printing company to be listed in the largest and most prominent GPO catalog in the country, Formlabs has solidified its position as the leader driving adoption of 3D printing for precision surgery. With our proven printers, materials, and imaging-to-print solutions now available in the Vizient catalog, even more hospitals and surgical centers will be able to provide enhanced patient-specific care, patient consent, and physician education using cost-effective, easy-to-use technology.”

Anatomical models 3D printed with Formlabs equipment. Image courtesy of Formlabs.

Formlabs notes that the American Hospital Association claims hospitals lost $300 billion in 2020 due to canceled non-emergency procedures and postponement of patient care. In turn, EBITDA margins for hospitals dropped more than 10% compared, even with government aid. The pandemic has seen a boost in a number of digital technologies and services, including 3D printing.

Cloud-based services expanded significantly as remote working and online education increased. Food delivery has also changed the global landscape. AM has also gotten a boost, not just from the production of medical supplies, but also as a stopgap tool for manufacturers in supply chain crunches.

The medical and dental sectors have already been considered the primary verticals where 3D printing would see the most mainstream adoption after aerospace. With the incorporation of Formlabs into Vizient’s GPO catalog, that may very well be the case. This will only fuel the spread of AM into other sectors as the technology becomes more relevant to automotive, general industry, and consumer goods.

Now we can wonder what other companies will listed in GPO catalogs like Vizient’s and what sectors outside of medical will see GPO integration as well. We may also wonder when Formlabs might take on bioprinting or if there are any mergers or acquisitions in the works. As far as dream IPOs are concerned, Formlabs CEO Max Lobovsky told attendees at the AM Investment Strategies summit that that was not the only option ahead for the company.

Share this Article

Recent News

AML3D Makes C-Suite Changes & Ramps Up its Metal 3D Printing Sales in Support of US Navy

The Evolution and Global Influence of NTT DATA XAM Technologies in Japan


3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns

You May Also Like

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Buys SPEE3D Metal 3D Printers

SPEE3D, the Australian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of cold spray additive manufacturing (CSAM) platforms, has been awarded a contract by the Japanese Ministry of Defense to purchase both WarpSPEE3D and...

Toyota Taps SOLIZE to 3D Print Functional Parts for Lexus

Recently, Japanese reseller and 3D printing service SOLIZE has achieved notable success. In 2021, the company began manufacturing 3D printed components for Nissan’s NISMO brand, utilizing HP printers. Now, SOLIZE...

3DPOD Episode 168: Reselling 3D Printers in Japan, Korea and the USA with Douglas Krone, Brule and Dynamism

Douglas Krone co-founded Dynamism, a reseller specializing in a range of 3D printers, from desktop to industrial models, for the U.S. market. This successful enterprise has become a leader in...

Japan’s Largest Fishing Company to Fast-Track Lab-Grown Fish via Seafood 3D Printing Firm Investment

Maruha Nichiro (TYO: 1333), Japan’s largest fishing company, has announced a strategic investment and collaborative partnership with Singapore-based Umami Bioworks (formerly known as Umami Meats) to develop and commercialize cell-cultivated...