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3dpbm hosts webinar on key opportunities for 3D printed orthopedic implants

Segment leaders GE Additive and OPM discuss the market's evolution

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Additively manufacturing of orthopedic implants is the topic of 3dpbm’s webinar, that took place on February 12th, at 4pm (CET) / 10 am (EST). For 3D Printing Media Network’s third AM Focus of 2019, we decided to highlight a topic within the medical and dental additive manufacturing segments. As we took a closer look at these huge verticals for AM, possibly the largest along with aerospace, we identified orthopedic implants – especially knee and hip implants – as one of the most relevant subsegments.

For two weeks we dove into the market for additive implants. In order to present this segment, we leveraged and presented exclusive data from SmarTech Publishing’s market report on Additive Orthopedics. We looked at key AM hardware, materials and software targeting mass production and mass customization of orthopedic implants through additive manufacturing. We also highlighted the most relevant new developments from key medical industry stakeholders and AM adopters.

The 3D printed orthopedic implants opportunity

This webinar represents an opportunity to take a look at the primary business opportunities emerging from the additive production of orthopedic implants using metals, polymers and other biocompatible materials.

We previewed the latest findings and forecasts from the upcoming report by SmarTech Publishing’s analyst Scott Dunham on the Medical AM for Implants Market. We also heard from leading global experts who identified and illustrated key applications and technologies in what could be considered the most relevant AM segment.

3D printed orthopedic implants
Typical implants 3D printed using GE Additive / Arcam EBM technology.

The current 3D printed implants technology leader is GE Additive, owner of both Concept Laser and especially Arcam’s whose EBM technology is currently the most widely adopted for AM implant production. Stephan ZeidlerGlobal Business Development Manager Medical at GE Additive, illustrated the company’s clear strategy toward AM for implant mass production.

We will took a closer look at advanced polymer 3D printed implants, through the participation of Scott DeFelice, Founder and CEO of Oxford Performance Materials. OPM is the company that first pioneered powder bed fusion of PEKK-based materials for implants and possess a unique know how in the use of these advanced materials via powder bed fusion technologies: its OsteoFab process combines laser sintering additive manufacturing technology and OPM’s proprietary OXPEKK material formulation to 3D print orthopedic and neurological implants.

3D printed orthopedic implants
An OXPEKK SLS 3D printed CMF implant

Key topics for discussion

As additive manufacturing is set to become the primary mean of implant production by 2027 (according to the latest SmarTech Publishing forecast), the panelists will seek to answer some of the key most relevant questions that AM adopters in the medical segment are asking us.

In a market worth several billion dollars, which are the most relevant applications for AM among knee, hip, CMF and spinal implants? How far can the technology go and what are the limits for 3D printed implants in terms of size, shape, strength?

3D printed orthopedic implants
SmarTech Publishing is forecasting the 3D printed implants segments to grow into a $3.7 billion market by 2027 (source: SmarTech Publishing)

Today additive manufacturing is being used for producing tens and even hundreds of thousands of hip and knee implants. These implants are more geometrically complex and perform better than standard implants from several indicators. But is AM going to be used as a mean of mass production or should it be increasingly used for mass customization, that is to make implants that are patient-specific? And what would be the challenges of such an approach?

Finally, with the support of our panelists we analyzed which are the best materials for additively manufactured implants. Are metals the only way to go forward? Which are the benefits of polymer implants? Are there other materials that we should be looking at, such as for example ceramics and even cellular biomaterials?

To learn more about these and many other topics sign up to view the full session below.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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