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People of 3D Printing

Find your medical device manufacturers

Introduction

The medical device industry has one major goal: developing new therapies to improve health and quality of life. It is a fast-growing market, driven by complex needs and challenges to diagnose, treat, or prevent various medical conditions. Moreover, from MedTech to traditional prosthesis manufacturing, the medical industry is constantly evolving and facing new manufacturing challenges. In a sector always looking for more flexibility and adaptability, what are the most adapted manufacturing solutions for startups and medium businesses? What kinds of manufacturing partners can help you grow faster to develop your new life-saving devices?

The challenges of manufacturing medical devices

Developing innovative devices for greater patient satisfaction and accelerated competitiveness requires focuses on quality and innovative products that perfectly meet patient needs. With investments in the proper technology, this is possible. It is not surprising to say that manufacturing medical devices is expensive and partnering with a good manufacturer is not always that easy. These years, medical device manufacturers are not only hospital equipment suppliers but really becoming part of a niche as a supply chain and healthcare solutions provider.

To create your medical equipment you will have to work with a manufacturing company developing technology that you could benefit from. The goal is to find a good and reliable strategic partner allowing you to meet new market challenges, needs, and opportunities. There are manufacturing companies all around the world for medical devices. Leading medical device companies, such as Johnson & Johnson or GE Healthcare are not necessarily adapted to the needs of your projects. Thankfully, other manufacturers offer advanced technology such as additive manufacturing.

The growing use of Additive Manufacturing in the medical sector

Giving more space to innovation and adaptability

During these last years, we can notice an impressive growth in the use of additive manufacturing in the medical industry. 3D printing is bringing innovation into the medical industry, as well as new ways of thinking about manufacturing. The development of innovative projects is made possible with the benefits offered by additive manufacturing. 

For researchers, surgeons, and doctors, additive manufacturing is becoming a relevant tool helping them in their daily tasks, at different levels to go further than the limits of traditional manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing helps to implement flexibility and adaptability in the manufacturing process as well as in the development of the product.  

The main benefits offered by additive manufacturing for medical devices

The large adoption of additive manufacturing in a demanding industry such as the medical sector is due to the wide range of advantages offered by this manufacturing technique. These benefits are leading to better adaptability. 

  • Mass customization

Thanks to additive manufacturing it is possible to manufacture perfectly made-to-measure devices. Using traditional manufacturing techniques, mass customization is more difficult and expensive. While using 3D printing no mold is required, you just have to get a 3D file, which can be generated from a 3D scan, medical imaging, or created from scratch. Once you have this file, it is possible to modify it to create as many iterations as needed. More concretely, it is allowing the creation of prosthesis, orthosis, or insoles perfectly adapted to the morphology of the patients and to the issues they are facing. These devices can be adapted without being too expensive. 

  • Freedom of design

With Design for Additive Manufacturing, you’re free from the constraints of traditional manufacturing. Complex designs that can be used for MedTech projects or any intricate product. This freedom also gives you the space needed for innovation and adaptability, to develop new cutting-edge projects.

  • Adapted production tools

Powder-based technologies such as Selective Laser Sintering allow you to mass-produce, manufacturing series of your products in batches, customized or not. In opposition to traditional manufacturing techniques, you can produce the exact amount of parts you need. From one prototype to mass-production, additive manufacturing becomes the perfect tool to manufacture at your scale.

Applications of 3D printing in the medical sector

There is a wide range of medical applications. What kinds of medical devices can be manufactured using additive manufacturing :

  • Prosthetics, casts, orthosis, orthopedic insoles

3D printing is making it possible to create perfectly adapted devices like 3D printed casts, or even further: 3D printed prosthetics, orthosis, casts, or implants for any patient. Additive manufacturing is now a way to create hands, arms, and legs, helping amputees to live a normal life, but also to manufacture perfectly adapted insoles.

But why is this technology a better way to create these medical devices? As you may know, a traditional prosthesis is expensive and not necessarily adapted to the patient. A 3D printed prosthesis has a lower cost and can be fully adapted to the morphology of the patients, to their habits, and their disability thanks to 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Thanks to the flexibility of additive manufacturing, it is possible to develop and manufacture these medical products using 3D printing.

  • 3D printed models for training 

Training surgeons with 3D printing… How is it possible? It is becoming more and more common. By using CT scans we know that doctors are now able to use 3D software to get some good visualizations and try some simulations to train before the surgery. But thanks to additive manufacturing, it is now possible to go further and get real anatomical models! 

Some surgeons are now using these CT scans to create 3D models and print them, in order to train on the real replica of the heart, spine, or any part of the patient. This a way to get a better view of the problem, and actually train on it.

 It is particularly useful for complex surgery. Indeed, thanks to this process, some surgeons affirm that they can reduce surgery time because they know exactly how to proceed! They are more efficient. Used several times for kidney or heart surgery, this manufacturing technique is also useful for all kinds of surgery.

  • 3D printing adapted medical tools

Surgeons can benefit from additive manufacturing to create their own tools, perfectly adapted to their tasks. Everything is 3D printable: tools, jigs, and fixtures. You have the freedom to create your own tools from scratch or you can take existing tools and adapt them to your needs. Thanks to 3D software and 3D printing technology, everything is possible. It could become a way to modernize your manufacturing process by improving your tools. Be free to develop your own intuitive surgical tools

  • Medical adapters

We saw it during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic. 3D printed adaptors fixed on snorkeling masks from sporting goods company, Decathlon appeared as a solution to the lack of ventilators in some hospitals. 3D printing made it easier to adapt these scuba diving masks to a ventilator to actually save people’s lives. 3D printing is a solution to manufacture medical devices in emergency situations.

  • MedTech devices

There is also a growing use of additive manufacturing in the MedTech sectors. This cutting-edge technology is offering advantages for the development of adapted electronic cases or complex sensors.

Using a 3D printing service’s bureau to manufacture medical device

3D printing for contract manufacturing could be an option for your company’s medical products.

Partnering with a 3D printing service is offering you the possibility to access advanced technologies and materials, as well as a reliable partner offering quality control.

Do you already have your 3D file? Order your 3D printed parts in just a few clicks by uploading your 3D model on our website. Or maybe you understand the potential of 3D printing and would like to implement this cutting-edge manufacturing technique inside your medical production, but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, our personalized consulting services will help you to figure this out, identifying all your opportunities and allow you to optimize your medical products and manufacturing process. Our multidisciplinary team, made of both designers and engineers, will listen and support you in all of your additive manufacturing projects. Sculpteo’s expertise is at your disposal in order to help you make the most of 3D printing for contract manufacturing!

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