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Medical devices maker uses additive manufacturing for orthopedic implants

The medical devices industry has been keen to leverage additive manufacturing or 3D printing for more than two decades now but realizing this dream has been tough. Aside from regulations, companies in this space needed to gain experience, invest in experimentation and innovation, and acquire talent to support their endeavors.

Medical devices leader Stryker recently announced that it was not only successful in leveraging additive manufacturing to produce new orthopedic implants but its team was able produce porous geometries that would be impossible to make without leveraging additive manufacturing.

In the healthcare space, Stryker’s efforts with additive manufacturing have paid off – not just in the production of porous geometries but also in the use of the technology to create other 3D printed orthopedic implants.

Stryker’s Director of Advanced Operations for Additive Technology recently said that additive manufacturing provides the company with two things – design freedom and rapid concept development.

Medical Design and Outsourcing, who simplified the tech behind Stryker’s innovation, explained that design freedom allows researchers to create geometries that are difficult to produce using ordinary equipment. Rapid concept development, on the other hand, allows researchers to test implants with real materials and tolerances, which ultimately results in little to no variation between prototypes and production runs.

Both of the above allow Stryker’s team to leverage additive manufacturing to create interesting 3D printed implants.

What Stryker has achieved is definitely something to emulate for companies in the medical devices space. Advantage Engineering is a strong player here, especially with additive manufacturing technologies, and understands the nuances when it comes to possibilities, technical feasibility, certifications, and so on. Customers that want to jump start their projects with additive manufacturing could work with Advantage Engineering to get a head start.