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Which 3D printing material should you choose for your medical projects?

Introduction

Are you developing your medical project and looking for the perfect material? Let see why additive manufacturing is a good solution to produce your parts, and what materials could be used for your projects. Choosing the right technology and material can be difficult for such demanding industries. Today, we will give you our best tips to help you make the best decision. 

Choosing 3D printing for your medical projects

Additive manufacturing is now becoming a real manufacturing alternative. While experiments are made to develop 3D printed tissues and organs in order to face the lack of donors or to regenerate tissues after accidents, these life-changing challenges are not completely ready yet. But while we are waiting for this to happen, 3D printing is affirming its place as a reliable and useful manufacturing technique and could quickly become more important than you think in the medical sector. Using additive manufacturing is improving adaptability and giving you more space for innovation. 

Also, by using this technology, you will open new opportunities for your business and benefit from mass customization and freedom of design. 3D printing is making it possible to manufacture perfectly made to measure medical devices. You certainly already know it, but while using traditional manufacturing techniques, mass customization is more difficult and expensive. With 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 your file is ready, it is possible to modify it to create as many iterations as needed. More concretely, it is allowing the creation of prostheses, orthoses, and insoles perfectly adapted to the morphology of the patients and to the issues they are facing. 

medical material

What projects is it possible to 3D print?

  • Prosthetics, orthotics, orthopedic insoles

Thanks to its adaptability and mass customization benefits, additive manufacturing appears to be the perfect solution to manufacture medical supports and devices such as prosthetics, orthopedic insoles, or orthotics. All these devices can be adapted to the patient’s morphology as the 3D file can be generated from a 3D file.

High Performance materials

  • 3D printed models for training 

3D printing is more and more used by surgeons to train. Before a surgical procedure, they can recreate identical organs thanks to CT scans, and rehearse the most complex surgeries, allowing them to anticipate all eventualities. 

  • 3D printing adapted medical tools

Adapted tools, totally custom-made for your specific needs, and tasks. Some of our customers are for example 3D printing their tool for prototyping or even as finished products. Surgical guides can totally be developed using additive manufacturing for example. 

  • COVID-19: Face emergency situations

Additive manufacturing can create just any kind of parts in short-lead times. We saw it during the first wave of COVID-19 when specific parts were in short supply in hospitals such as adaptors for ventilators. 3D printing is allowing more reactivity than traditional manufacturing techniques. 

Read our ebook to learn more about the role of additive manufacturing during COVID-19 pandemic

What 3D printing materials should you choose?

  • TPU 

TPU is offering a really good shock absorption and rebound resilience (up to 63%). Thanks to its quality, high flexibility, TPU can be used to manufacture footwear, orthopedic models, and sports protection equipment. If you are looking for a resistant, flexible, and rubbery material, this TPU is the perfect option.  By creating an interesting structural design, parts can be 3D printed for various applications in the medical sector. 

Several TPU options, at Sculpteo we recommend: Ultrasint® TPU 88A for white parts, using Selective Laser Sintering technology, or Ultrasint® TPU01 for grey parts, using Multi Jet Fusion technology. 

  • PA11

Nylon PA 11 is relevant for your medical projects. Indeed, this material is resistant and approved for skin contact, making it possible to create made-to-measure medical devices such as orthopedic parts. 

If you want to use Nylon PA 11, two different options are available at Sculpteo, PA11 HP and Ultrasint® PA11

  • Nylon PA12

The good mechanical properties of Nylon PA12 material can substitute injection molding plastics. This material is well used in the 3D printing industry, as it allows for rapid prototyping as well as finished consumer products. For medical, this material can be used to develop medical tools or prosthetics for example. Nylon PA12 is a biocompatible and sterilizable 3D printing material that makes it a relevant material to develop your medical projects.

Do you need more help to identify your material needs?

Medical projects require knowledge and a reliable, dedicated manufacturing partner, without forgetting the innovative side. If you are looking for a reliable partner offering flexible technologies, partnering with Sculpteo’s 3D printing service might be the perfect opportunity for your business.

In order to help you reach your manufacturing goals and develop the best projects possible, our 3D printing experts will support you during your whole process. The Sculpteo Studio team is here to help you identify 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 and chose the material offering the best mechanical properties for your projects!

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. 

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